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New Kingdom Values

October 15, 2023

Book: Luke

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Scripture: Luke 6:17-26

Jesus says the blessings you should want are the blessings of eternity.

Note: This transcript was auto generated and may have errors.

I’m going to start in kind of a strange place this morning, but bear with me. Follow me and you’ll see where I’m going here in just a second. Perhaps you’ve noticed the expansive, popular and corporate reach of the LGBT community. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I don’t think that there’s any question that there is a lot of effort right now to mainstream this worldview, to normalize these ideas. It’s everywhere. If you if you work for a corporation, your policies are being changed. At work. The messaging is very clear. You can’t you can’t Google anything in the month of June without being reminded of the by the little Google logo. Facebook wants you to surround your face. Frame your face with rainbows. This. This movement has been very successful at getting their ideas in front of people and causing people to to consider how to incorporate this worldview into every level of decision and thought. And I mentioned it this morning not to talk about the issues of sexuality and identity themselves, although that would be a very worthy topic. I mention it because it is a very successful example of kingdom building. Very, very successful. Every kingdom that is ever been built that, that, that lasts, that has any kind of staying power, it has done so by capturing the hearts and the minds of people. Governments and societies that have endured for generations are not founded on power now. They may be held by power, they may be protected with power, but they’re founded on ideas.

They’re founded on values. Think about the founding of the United States. Yes, it was won through the Revolutionary War, but it was founded on the shared values of the people who wanted representative government, who wanted a democratic republic. The shared ideas and values are what make a kingdom. And if you can capture the hearts and minds of people, then you can build a kingdom, or you can transform a society from one sort of society into another. We are now entering the part of the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus begins to describe the kingdom of God that he’s building. So far, we have heard from others in the book who have who have talked about the salvation that was to come. Right. We’ve heard from a lot of folks like that Zachariah, Mary, Simeon, the man in the temple, John the Baptist. They all testified that the coming of Jesus means the start of something new. We have seen pictures of what this new kingdom is going to be like with the healing of the sick and the casting out of demons. Jesus Jesus has given us physical illustrations of spiritual truths of his kingdom. And we have. We have listened to Jesus as he is addressed, addressed the Pharisees, and tells them that his kingdom cannot be lived out with their old way of thinking. So there must be a new way of living that goes along with the salvation and new life that you have in Christ.

So if you have Christ, there must be a new way of living that goes with following Jesus. But we haven’t heard what that is yet. For the next four passages in Luke, Jesus is going to get very specific on what that new way is. He’s going to describe the new way to live under the rule and the reign of the Lord in the kingdom of God. So he’s going to say, this is what it looks like. We haven’t seen Jesus do this yet. This is the first and the largest section of Jesus teaching in the Book of Luke. So when you look at the Gospel of Luke, you don’t have anything longer any more sustained teaching than the next four passages that we’re going to look at, look at. And it contains this. This passage contains his vision for how his kingdom functions. And so he’s going to tell us, well, here’s what the values look like in the kingdom of God. Here’s what. Here’s what it looks like to to to to get blessing in the kingdom of God. Here’s what you can expect from other people in the kingdom of God. Here’s how forgiveness works. Here’s what love and generosity looks like in the kingdom of God. It’s the messaging, okay, that’s what we’re going to get into. This is the messaging of the kingdom of God.

And just like the movements that we have today in our world, in our society that are getting their messages out there, Jesus is now going to get his message out there. There are parts of Jesus kingdom that will be very attractive to everyone. I would think to most people from all walks of life today in our society, when I when we get to the sections in this sermon on on love and forgiveness and judgment, you’ll see why I have a hard time understanding how it is that anybody wouldn’t want to be a Christian. When Jesus starts talking about love and generosity, judgment, what all that looks like, I think, wow, boy, that would be so attractive in our culture. I can’t believe that people aren’t just jumping right on board and entering into this kingdom. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of this? But then I remember the section on blessing which we’re going to look at today. And I remember why it takes a miracle of the Lord in a person’s heart to want to seek after the Lord. So that’s what we’re going to. That’s where Jesus begins his sermon. He starts this sermon by comparing and contrasting the life of blessing and the life of woe. Everybody I know wants their life to be happier. I’ve never met anybody that doesn’t want their life to be better in some way, to be happier somehow, right? It’s universal truth.

You all want your lives to be happier, right? Who doesn’t want that? Everybody wants that. It’s a universal truth that the desire to be happy sort of motivates everything. It’s the motivation that we have for everything. The people who who move from marriage to marriage. You’ve seen folks like this before. They kind of they get married, then they get divorced, they get remarried and divorced, and they kind of move from marriage to marriage. These folks are motivated to try to fill their lives up with blessing. That’s what they want. They’re trying. They’re trying to get something. They want to find some kind of happiness. And that that happiness has eluded them. Do you remember? Do you remember those? Those families that tried to get their kids into college by faking a rowing scholarship? Do you remember this? Do you remember that? It was crazy. That was crazy. They were doing this. They were trying to get their kids. They lied about rowing to get them in. They just wanted to be happy. They just wanted to be happy. They wanted their kids to be happy. They felt like this was the best way forward. That’s kind of a light example. But, you know, that same motivation is what what motivates dictators throughout all of history and terrorists throughout all of history. They’re trying to give themselves happiness and power and fame. Hamas right now is motivated to kill by a desire for a preferred future.

That’s what they want. They just want. They want something better. Happiness and blessing are a big part of every worldview, and every kingdom that you were invited into has some sort of promise of a better future, filled with more happiness than you have right now. And here’s the thing church. Jesus Kingdom does too. Jesus Kingdom offers you a happiness that you may not have right now. Jesus created that inner drive in us to want things, to want happiness. He made that in us. He created in us a desire for a better future. But Jesus answer to the longing that he’s built into us extends further than next week. It extends further than next month or next year. It even extends beyond the end of your life. See, Jesus says that the blessings that you should want are the blessings of eternity. The real blessings, the real happiness that everyone on earth is longing for can only be found in the eternal Kingdom of God. And it’s that kingdom that’s been saved from this world that’s now been freed of sin. See the problem with the ideas and the values of the world, the kingdoms that are built on the ideas and the values of the world. The problems with those are that they do not deal and do not factor in the problem of sin and the right solution to it. They are not addressing sin and brokenness like they should.

Most of them most of the different worldviews in the world. They do one of three things with sin. They they some of them dismiss the idea of sin. They prefer to think that there is no evil in the world, so they just get rid of the category of sin and think, well, that somehow got rid of the category, or got rid of sin altogether. Or they accept and embrace sin and try to work it into their vision for happiness. And somehow it’s, it’s okay to, to to be engaged in these things. Or thirdly, they acknowledge and they hate certain sins. Not all of them, but certain ones. And then through manmade effort, we will try to get rid of these certain sins. That’s kind of the three things that manmade worldviews and religions do. All of these choices will lead you ultimately to a profoundly unhappy life, if not immediately, then then eventually Jesus has a kingdom to propose to you and me this morning, and it’s a kingdom that has actual blessing and happiness in it, because it rightly deals with the problem of sin. It identifies where the lack of joy is coming from and deals with it directly. And then it fulfills the longing of our hearts because it deals with that problem. C.s Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, if I find in myself desires with which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Has made for another world. Let’s begin exploring this, this kingdom. If you have your Bible, you can open them up to Luke chapter six. Luke six. We’re going to begin in verse 17 this morning. Here we are going to read about the values of the Kingdom of God. But before we begin, let me say that when we read this passage that it is probably going to sound familiar to you. And that’s because the material that Luke records in chapter six for this sermon that Jesus preaches on the plane contains a lot of the same teaching that that the more famous sermon on the Mount contains in Matthew chapters five through seven. And if you are wondering why there is so much overlap between these two sermons, I’m going to give you a little insider information here. Okay, here’s a little insider, a little, little insider information. Preachers reuse material. It’s true. Preachers reuse material. This sermon is a good example of it. I have preached this sermon before. We reuse stuff. In fact, that C.S Lewis quote right there. I’ve used that C.S Lewis quote in other contexts for other reasons. It’s a very famous quote some of you have probably used heard me use it before in other contexts. So just to keep it French, here is French philosopher Simone Veil saying basically the same thing. At the center of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in the world.

See, other people have noticed it too. It’s a universal truth. Jesus preached all over Galilee, in different towns and in different locations. So it’s not surprising at all that he preached the same message, reworked different ways. So let’s look at the values of this, this new kingdom of God. And he came down with them and stood on a level place with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured, and all the crowds sought to touch him. For the for power came out from him, and he healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said, blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you, and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For so their fathers did to the prophets.

But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all people speak well of you. For so their fathers did to the false prophets. We have two kingdoms here. Do you see that there are two kingdoms? For the sake of clarity, I’m going to call them the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of woe. And Jesus always speaks like this. He’s always speaks like this when he’s describing his kingdom. From from our perspective, when we look at the world, we we might say that there are hundreds of ways to think and believe in the world, maybe even thousands of different ways to think about the world. But when Jesus speaks on this subject, he says, there are really only two ways. There are only two kingdoms. There’s the kingdom of God that you enter when you follow him, and there’s the false kingdom of the world when you reject him. That’s it. There’s the king. There’s the kingdom over which he is king, that Jesus is king, and there is the kingdom ruled by the demonic possession that kills and destroys people. Those are the two. And Jesus has come to destroy this demonic kingdom. That’s why the scriptures keep telling us that Jesus is casting out demons and he’s healing people.

When these when these kingdoms collide, when Jesus comes into when he brings his kingdom into this world and it collides with the kingdom of this world, Jesus wins. They don’t they don’t coexist together. And you can’t be in both. You have to be in one or the other. You don’t live in both kingdoms. Now, you may feel that that is not very inclusive of Jesus. See, there’s a lot of value today on having a wide, diverse view of truth that is individual to the person. So basically everybody wants their view, wants their opinion to be truth. But but here’s the thing. That’s not how that’s not how truth actually works. And Jesus isn’t just giving his perspective. He’s not just giving his opinion. He’s telling anyone and everyone who will listen what is actually true about reality. There are only two ways that you can live. You can follow him. You can have your heart transformed. Be blessed. You can enter into the Kingdom of God, or you can reject Jesus, and you can go a different way. And you can live in the kingdom that rejects the one true God. And Jesus says that this message, this is for everybody. It’s for everyone. You see there where it says that the great crowds, crowds of disciples and a great multitude of people from every region. It’s not just one region or one people group or one nationality that he has in mind here.

It’s not this sort of local God sort of mentality. He’s saying everybody from every place, regardless of your nationality, regardless of your skin color, regardless of your culture, you all need to come and to hear this message. This message is for everyone. It’s for people who have already decided to follow Jesus. They need to hear about the Kingdom of God. That’s who the disciples are here, the crowd of disciples around him. But it’s also for everyone who’s who’s just there to hear what Jesus has to say. They haven’t put their faith in Jesus yet, but they are interested in what he has to say. That’s the multitude from Judea and Jerusalem, from the from the seacoast area, Tyre and Sidon. They’re. We have here this morning at Calvary, in this room, both of these groups represented. We have both groups. Some of you are committed disciples of Jesus. You are here because you eagerly want to learn more about the Kingdom of God and how to live out the grace of Jesus. You’re here to praise the Lord because of the goodness of his kingdom. Some of you, however, are just here to consider Jesus. Just to consider what his kingdom is like. You don’t yet have a God’s forgiveness and grace at work in your life, and my hope is that you’ll see that Jesus kingdom is the only one that’s worth living in and living for. So let’s look at each of these kingdoms individually, and we’ll start where Jesus started with the kingdom of God.

So you want to bless. Everybody wants a blessed life, right? Everybody wants a life of blessing. A life of blessing from God even. Okay, here’s what that looks like. Are you ready? Here’s what the here’s what the life of blessing looks like. Jesus says, blessed are you if you are poor, hungry, weeping, and hated right now. Perhaps that’s not what you were hoping for when you say we didn’t get up this early this morning, come all the way down here to this church to find out that the secret to God’s blessing is to be poor, hungry, sad, and unpopular. But that’s what Jesus says here. This passage. What is he talking about? How could this be? How could this be? The thing that he would say is a blessing? How on earth could this be in any way construed as a blessed life? Well, friends, the key to living a life that is truly blessed by God is to understand three things. You’ve got to. You got to recognize three things. There are three things you have to hold on to in order to make sense of what Jesus is saying here. The first thing you’ve got to know is that the world is thoroughly broken by human sin. If you don’t start with that, nothing that Jesus says will make sense. And if you don’t identify the world correctly, none of this will make sense.

So the first thing you have to know is that the world is thoroughly broken by human sin. That means that your thoughts, your deeds, your values, your relationships, all of that has been twisted into a broken, God dishonoring, dishonoring, God denying, sinful version of what it was supposed to be. Okay. So the first place to start. The second thing you need to know is that Jesus has come to destroy that sin. He came to destroy, to cast out the devil, and to restore creation by his grace to solve that problem. His his death on the cross reorders the world. And it doesn’t just reorder the world around us. It reorders your heart to once again live for the glory of God. And the third thing you need to remember is that when you put your faith in Jesus and you enter into his kingdom, you now live for the future. Okay. You now live for the future. You will. You will see this broken world for what it is. And you will in this life work to overcome evil with good. That’s what we’re doing. That’s what we do as a church. That’s why we’re here this morning. To to preach this gospel. We want to overcome evil with good from from Christ. But now you’re going to live for eternity. When this world is no more. And all that is left is Christ forever.

Right when you take on that perspective of living now in a broken world, in light of eternity with Christ and His kingdom forever, then these values make sense. Now suddenly what Jesus is talking about here makes sense to you. Blessed are the poor. Now, anybody want to be poor right now? Anybody? I won’t take a show of hands on that one. Bible says the Bible says that a lot of things about wealth and poverty, and the stuff that the Bible says about wealth and poverty is complex and it’s nuanced. But there’s a reason that the Bible warns about the dangers of being rich. And that’s because there are dangers to being rich. People who have wealth tend to rely on it instead of God. So if you have riches, you have wealth, money. You tend to rely on that instead of God. You tend to crave it instead of righteousness. They tend to seek after it and make their lives about acquiring more and more things, instead of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, knowing full well that everything you need will be added to you. Which Jesus says. Right. People who have wealth tend to rely on it. But this teaching. This is a teaching of Jesus that that we tend to explain away. I’ve seen this a lot in the church. We tend to explain this teaching away in the hope that we can somehow live lives of wealth and luxury and still have Jesus.

Somehow, I still want everything that I’m after in life. But if I can grab all these things and then also have Jesus in that, that would be fantastic. But in God’s kingdom we are called to live humble, generous lives where our wealth is only a tool to bring glory to God. We’re stewards and it’s all his. So what Jesus says here about his kingdom is a benefit to the poor, and it is also a warning to the rich, to the poor. He says that you can have an eternity of riches in the Lord. If you’re poor now, you’re in an advantage because you’re going to be looking forward in a way that others won’t look forward. Okay, you’re already inclined in that direction to hear that that that message. That’s a benefit. That’s a blessedness to those who are poor. We’ll get to the rich here in just a moment. So buckle up, fellow white collar, college educated, successful career, folks. Blessed are the hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. This is very similar to the first blessing of poverty. Poverty is is a state of not having enough. And hunger is the same thing. It’s a state of not having enough. Hunger is the feeling inside of you, of needing more. Most of us here in this room have never known real hunger before. But you need to remember that in the crowd that day, there would have been people who have who were hungry, truly physically hungry, not knowing where their next meal would come from.

When Jesus fed the 5000 people, that wasn’t just a convenience, that was life giving. These people chased Jesus to the other side of the lake so that they could get breakfast from him, because they live lives of day to day subsistence. Now, nowhere in Scripture are we told that it’s good not to have enough to eat. Starving isn’t any more spiritual than poverty is. But if what you want is for this world to give you all the satisfaction that your heart desires, if that’s what you want, if you’re looking at the world and you’re going, I want everything that will fill me up from the world that my heart desires. If you are in that position, you will not hunger for the Kingdom of God. You won’t. You won’t hunger for an eternity with Christ and the righteousness of his kingdom. You’re going to. You’re going to live like all you need is the stuff that you can fill yourself with in this world, and you will miss the kingdom of God. If you’re hungry. If you’re physically hungry, you know that the world isn’t working, right. So I’m hungry, but I don’t have food. If you’re hungry and you need food, you go, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. You will have a need for dependence on God to give you your daily bread.

And now that prayer makes sense, doesn’t it? Give us this day our daily bread. You’re going to daily cry out for the need of Jesus Christ. Friends, you you need to have a hunger in this world that that can’t be satisfied so that you can be satiated by Christ. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Is God against humor. I hope not, or I am in big trouble. This is the same Jesus, by the way, who hung out with all the wrong people. He turned water into the wine. He kept the party going. So I think I’m safe. But there’s a big difference. And this is this is key. There’s a big difference between enjoying life at times and living your life for entertainment and distraction. There’s a big difference between I had a good day. I enjoyed God’s creation, I enjoyed my family, I enjoyed some escape, and I must live my life for escape. I have to live my life in such a way that I am always being, being insulated against anything that would make me unhappy in any way. I need. We need to take the pain and the misery of sin seriously. And if you would distract yourself constantly, you won’t. If you understand the sin and the effects of sin. You’ll mourn and weep right now. You’ll mourn and weep. You ever heard anybody say, sometimes you hear this.

Somebody will say of their kids. They will say, I don’t care what my kids do as long as they’re happy. That I don’t I don’t care where they do or what choices they make. Know as long as they’re happy, as long as as long as they feel they feel happy. That sentiment comes from someone who doesn’t understand the role of mourning and weeping over the effects of sin. They think that being consistently, emotionally happy is the only objective to whether that’s worth striving for, because they can’t see the eternity beyond the broken world, right? When when you see sin in this world for what it is, when you just look at the world and you go, there’s something wrong here, you’ll see that the only way to truly have hope and peace and laughter is to look beyond this world, to the eternity where there is no more weeping, and where every tear is wiped away, where there’s no more weeping. That’s eternity with Christ. The last blessing is the longest. Might be the hardest. Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you, and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For so their fathers did to the prophets. Doesn’t sound like the sort of situation where you’d be leaping for joy, does it? Those other things.

Poor. Hungry. Weeping. Those are actually things you can you can do those things in private. You can do those things on your own. That’s that’s material and emotional suffering. But this this is relational suffering. And if you’re like me, this this is the worst one there is. There is almost nothing worse than being excluded and hated. Right. To be left out and hated. I want to point out, by the way, before we move on on this, I want to point out that it is not saying that you’re blessed. Just if people happen to see you this way because of how you behave. Okay, you’re not blessed for being a jerk and you’re so mean to everybody. And they’re like, oh yeah, they hate me. And that’s I’m more like, Jesus now. No, that’s not that’s not what it that’s not what it’s saying here. You’re not blessed for being a gossip or blessed for being a political troll. So you are you are blessed if you live for Jesus and people hate you on account of the Son of Man. Do you see that very important little phrase there? It’s on Jesus account. If you you get excluded from certain groups because you love Jesus and you stand on the principles of the gospel, Jesus says, then you’re blessed right now. You can you can take joy in the fact that you are not compromising your commitment to Jesus based on what the world finds acceptable.

Jesus will later say to take heart when you have trouble for following Jesus. Why? Because he had the same trouble. He he had the same troubles in his life. And so if you’re following him, you’re certainly going to have at times some of those same troubles he lived out of out the love and the grace of God. And that didn’t match up with the world’s values, and they hated him for it. And if you live that way, there will be times when you’re hated for it. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised this morning if what Jesus is saying here about the blessed life and the Kingdom of God is not something you’re interested in. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. I’ve had non-Christians tell me that they are not interested in Jesus because they understand this, this passage better than some Christians understand it. They know what they’re in for if they follow Jesus. To live out the kingdom of values in this world is hard. It’s a hard thing to do. It’ll cost you things. It’ll cost you relationships. It’ll damage your pride. Because you won’t be living for yourself anymore. You live in the kingdom of God. You won’t. You won’t be living for yourself anymore. You’ll be living for the glory of God with your eyes on an eternal joy that that will not and cannot be found apart from Jesus in this world.

That’s the kingdom of God. Now let’s contrast that with the kingdom of woe. Woe is distress or sorrow. It’s a world full of sin like we have here. It’s a it’s a world full of of sorrow. That’s not the way it’s portrayed, however. Okay. That’s not that’s not what’s going to be presented to you. Again, there’s a whole army of people in the in the kingdom of woe who are trying to make life without Jesus seem joyous. Satan has a great ad department. Okay. There’s he does. There’s no advantage to Satan to make his way seem hard. He doesn’t want you to think that. Remember the temptations to Jesus. Remember when Jesus faced off with Satan? He was presented with things that would make his life easier. He was presented with ways that would be better for him. In that moment. Satan’s slogan might be live for today. Why not have it all? Live for now. Let me let me move through these woes more quickly because they are actually the inverse of the blessings that that Jesus has already described. Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Do you think, do you think, this life is just about having more stuff, fellow suburbanites? Does that? Does it feel like that? That is the way life, the trajectory of life goes, that we just want more things. Does your does your view of the future extend out only to retirement and hopefully early retirement so that you can relax into a life of leisure? Do you remember that game, the game of life, the board game? Do you remember that? I know most of us haven’t played it since 1982, but do you remember that that that whole thing, you go around the board, right.

And it kind of goes through all the different life stages right before the end of that game, and you land on a square called The Day of Reckoning? I am not kidding. Look it up. The day of reckoning is what it says. And at the day of reckoning, you either go to the poor farm. Or to Millionaire Acres. That’s. Those are the. That’s the end of life. Poor. I don’t want to go to a poor farm. That’s where all the losers are, right? I want to make it into Millionaire Acres. Now, the world’s view of winning is more nuanced that than that. Okay, I’m not making an argument. That is all that the world has to offer. That’s not the way it’s all talked about, but it’s basically that. It’s basically that. For those outside the kingdom of God. Your only consolation. Is what you can have right now. Mm. That’s what they say. So live for now. Life ends when you die. You die rich or you die poor. Make sure you’re in the right spot. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. The warnings here are severe, and it would be tragic for us not to listen. So I want you to dial in here. It would be tragic for you to not hear this this morning. If you live this life with only a desire to fill your hungers and to pursue pleasure apart from joy in the Lord. Then you will spend eternity hungry and in sorrow. There’s a veiled but very real reference to an eternity apart from the Lord in hell. Where God’s justice is done for those who reject his salvation and choose to live for themselves instead of the glory of God. If you if you are trying to fill yourself with happiness and turning away from the gospel, you might give yourself some kind of pleasure for this life. But it’s fleeting. And it won’t last. You are pushing away the great joy of being redeemed and reconciled to your creator forever, for a life that will never satisfy you and will ultimately end up revealing to you just how empty it is when you enter into eternity. I can’t warn you enough. I can’t warn you enough to stop pursuing that empty life. Stop pursuing that empty life. And come and enter the Kingdom of God by putting your trust, putting your life, putting your hope in Jesus. Put it in his hands. Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

This final woe is, in my opinion, the most important warning for our culture right now. I know materialism and and all of that. I know that’s that’s hard in our culture, especially our American culture. But I believe that this warning is maybe the most important for for our culture right now. In my experience, there has never been such an emphasis on making sure that you agree with everyone and that everyone approves of you. I don’t know that we’ve ever been in a time in all of human history when that has been so important. People are more image conscious and self-aware than perhaps they have ever been. People in our in our culture are quick to disassociate from others who disagree with them. And so there’s this intense pressure to make sure that you agree with everyone and that everybody agrees with you. Jesus says that if it’s your desire to to get everyone to like you at the expense of your commitment to follow him and share the gospel and live out the values of the Kingdom. He says that you’re like a false prophet. Old Testament prophets were always telling people that their sins were fine. They were always going around, oh, it’s going to be fine. Oh, don’t. Don’t listen to Jeremiah. Don’t listen to what he has to say. You’re fine. What you’re doing is okay.

God doesn’t care. God isn’t seeing. God doesn’t want to to punish you for any reason. You haven’t done anything wrong. They would give the people permission and excuses so that they could claim to be righteous and stand before God when they were actually in sin and living apart from the Lord altogether. Church, this is a huge temptation today. This is a huge temptation today. And when so-called Christians compromise what Scripture says to accommodate the sins of their friends in an effort not to offend anyone, they show they’re actually not following Jesus at all. You may claim to know the Lord, but if you don’t make the hard decisions to live for him when it costs you something, you aren’t in his kingdom at all. This is a heavy start to Jesus sermon. Jesus knew it. He knew this would simultaneously encourage and empower those who had put their trust in him and his followers. And it would at this very same time, it would push away the crowd that was just there to see what Jesus would do and what Jesus would give to them. I want you to invite you this morning to live a life of true joy in the Kingdom of God, by following after Jesus and receiving forgiveness and receiving new life in him. It’s not for the faint of heart. And following Christ is not for the faint of heart. It is not the easy road.

I know that a lot of times that’s the message you hear from some Christians. Oh, your life will get so much better. Everything will clear up. Everything will be better if you follow Jesus. It’s not going to be hard at all. Some what Jesus said. It’s not for those of you who just want to maximize your pleasure and your friends and your wealth for this life only. But it is for those of you who are not content with this world. You’re not content with the sin in this world. You are not content with the sin in your own life. You are tired of what’s happening around you. You are tired of happening. What is what is happening in you. You’re tired of seeing the same old failures. It’s for those of you who have a longing at the center of your heart that you have tried to fill, and you can’t fill it. There’s a longing in your heart for a kingdom that is not of this world. No object in this world has filled it, and no object in this world ever will. Is. For those of you who are hungry for righteousness, you have a hunger to see the right being done. You have a hunger for true justice. And you have a poverty in your spirit. And you have need, and you stand before the Lord in need. It’s for those of you who have had your fill of what the world has to offer, and you want more from the God who created you. Is that you? Let’s pray.

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