Famous Last Words
Famous Last WordsMon, Aug 20, 2023 10AM • 1:00:01SUMMARY KEYWORDSJesus, God, people, sins, words, love, die, sword, lord, talk, romans, forgive, chapter, Paul, peter, Christ, Christians, church, nail, happen
Good morning. Welcome. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor if you're not, well, you know, I wasn't here last week, I was out of town. And I want to thank Tony Johnson for preaching, and awesome message. Very good message, talented preacher. But here's the thing. There's a but So, Tony said something in his message that was not true. Oh, no, and I have to correct it. I don't normally do. Now, I'm not going to say it was heresy, but it was wrong. Alright, so he said that I was better than him. That is not true. Tony is awesome. In his own way. We're just different. Indeed, if someone came up to you and said, What's your pastor? Like? You might say, well, he's different. Right? So. All right. So it is different here. We like to talk about what Jesus likes to talk about. And that includes death, right? So as Christians, we shouldn't be afraid of death, right? We know that heavens a better place than here. Yes. Amen to that. So that's what happens when we die. So we can have a little fun talking about death, right? Doesn't have a sting over. So today, we're going to talk about very famous last words. Very famous last word. So I figured I'd break the ice a little bit by giving you guys some funny last words that people real people actually have said either on their deathbeds or right before they die. Right. So let's talk about death like this. So, Lawrence of Rome, so back in the day, there's a lot of persecution in the church about 258 ad in Rome. He's the St. Lawrence of Rome. He's a deacon. He's on his deathbed. And he says, Turn me over. I'm done on this side. Right. So the patron saint of cooks speaking of cooking, there's this guy, James French, what's his name? He was a murderer. He's about to get the chair is about to get executed electric. Electrified. Right, so he says this. These are his last words. Hey, fellas, how about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? French fries. Somebody knew that one. It was a good one. Okay. John Sedgwick. He's a commander General, in the Union Army during the Civil War. Right. So he's on the battlefield, and he says, they couldn't hit an elephant at this dist ... Not an elephant, but a general WC Fields. deathbed. I'm looking for loopholes. Bob Hope surprised me. Ah, so he even found the humor in that right on his deathbed. Well, as Christians, we don't have to be surprised, right? We know what's to come. And we can celebrate it. As Paul said, I'd rather just go home and be with the Lord. But for your sakes, I'll just stick around. Now I'm going to be careful about that. Because the last time I was up here, and I prayed that the Lord would just take me I had grown adults coming up to me afterwards, like, don't leave us yet pastor. I'm like, really? Did you get anything I talked to? That's okay. I know you love me, I love you too. But I'd rather just go home and be with the Lord as much as I love you. That's just it. Again, especially before this election cycle. So here we go. As Christians, we don't have to be. Yeah, it's not a joke. So it's funny, but okay, we're in the rest of the story. So Tony's message, armor of God Ephesians. Six, I'll try to kind of bring it together a little bit here. But we're going to continue faithfully in the rest of the story. If you're new here, this is kind of what it's all about. And it's really kind of crazy that we have to build this culture here of like learning to read the entire story right before we draw a conclusion. And that's what's happening. And so that's what the rest of the story was really birthed from is just this idea, like, Let's build a culture where we actually honor God's word, as Christians Imagine that. So it's not like one verse. And then you know, me talking about my dog, or opinions and stuff like that. Talk a little bit about pizza that happens, but for the most part, it's mostly God's word. And when you really think about it, it's crazy that it's usually not. So that's what's going on. And with that, is reading the Bible. It's a spiritual book. We're supposed to read it right by the power of the Holy Spirit. But it's like any other book where we're supposed to just like, actually read it straight through. So if we sat down with one of our favorite books, what might we do is we'd sit down, maybe read, I don't know, you know, 10 pages, 20 pages. Some people can read a book in an afternoon. Right now, you're not going to read all this in an afternoon unless you like, I don't know what you'd have to do. But you can read like Genesis, right? So today, I read the book of Genesis, but you never hear that. You hear people like posting talking about the verse of the day. Well, that's well intentioned. It's not the way you should Read the book, right? So imagine that just reading a sentence of a book randomly all over the place, you just never know what it's about. And that's why most people, Christians included do not know what the Bible is about. So kind of sad. So we're doing this in the series, where we left off, we did a larger section again, we dispelled a lot of false teachings, just with the text alone. It's amazing how you can do that, right? I see people argue, and you're not supposed to be doing that as Christians anyway. But whenever they're debating all these things, and they're plugging diversity or plugging everything. I mean, really, honestly, if I had to debate, I just really wouldn't, because I don't have the time for that nonsense. But I would just sit there and just start reading the Bible. So all you really need to do and we're seeing in this series, like, wow, Jesus totally corrects that if we just keep like listening to him. And we learn that Matthew five through seven, right, that's the Sermon on the Mount, three chapters. It's a sermon. And we saw that if you stop at Matthew chapter five, you miss some stuff, because he clarifies in chapter six, and clarifies in chapter seven. So we got that out of John 14 through 17. So he had some predictions. The Holy Spirit was one of them, his death was another one. He's leaving this world and his physical body, he's preparing the disciples, he prays for the disciples, and He prays for us to that was pretty cool, we saw that. So that's what we're going to look at. We're going to continue from there. Now, if you're not new here, you may not know the Bible is not in chronological order. So you have the four gospels were in the gospels that give us slightly different perspectives here and there, and they're not in chronological order. So I make charts for you guys. That like probably two people look at. But anyway, it's there for you. In the app, we did have some technical difficulties with the website, they're sorting it out. Now. I'm pretty sure this made it to the app. But if it didn't, remain calm, it'll get there. Okay. So let's just calm down. So we ended in a prayer, Jesus's prayer. Now, Jesus is going to pray in John, it's really short. That's where we were just doesn't really mention that and just jumps right into the other stuff. But in Luke, I give us a few other details. And so that's where I want to pick up right now. Alright, so remember that Jesus of praying for his disciples. So Luke 2239, then accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There, he told them, pray that you will not give into temptation. He walked away about a stone's throw and knelt down and prayed, Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me, yet I want your will to be done, not mine. Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, he prayed more fervently. And he was in such agony of spirit that sweat fell to the ground, like great drops of blood. And last he stood up again and returned to disciples only to find them asleep, exhausted from greed, why are you sleeping, he asked them, get up and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. Right? The spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak. So a few things to explain here. Horrified and distressed. It says in Mark, it's pretty good translation of the Greek. And I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, because we've done this before both sides of the coin in fear. Jesus is tremendously anxious here. So the idea is, and he says, Don't be anxious about anything when Jesus Why are you anxious? That's the ideal. That's what we're shooting for. But we are human beings. And so that happens in here. It happens to the extent that Jesus sweats blood, I'm going to butcher this word here, Hema to Drosos. If you're a doctor, forgive me, right? So that is a medical condition, where you won't get so anxious that you sweat blood. I've never been that anxious where that happened to me the blood vessels around the sweat glands that constrict and that's what happens under extreme stress, extreme anxiety, yet, your will be done father, just like we say. So now Jesus is going to get betrayed and rested. We'll hop to John, John 18. Three, the leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches and lanterns and weapons. They arrived at the Olive Grove, Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him. So he stepped forward to meet them who you're looking for. He asked Jesus, the Nazarene replied, I am. He says, I am here, just so you understand. Jesus said, Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. As Jesus said, I am or I am he, they all drew back and fell to the ground. Once more, he asked them what you're looking for. And again, the reply, Jesus, the Nazarene.
I told you that I am He, Jesus said, and since I'm the one you want, let these others go. He did this to fulfill his own statement. I did not lose a single one of those who have given me Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the ear of Malchus the high priest sleep. But Jesus said to Peter, Put your sword back into its sheath, shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given Me Now there are a few things here. You kind of want to go over the tone of the message. First of all, the I am thing if you've been in the series, if you've been with us for a while, you know, this is the burning bush, right? So Exodus three thing around verse 14, what do I call you, Lord Moses, as I am telling you, I am sent you. So when Jesus is doing this, he's saying he's got, I am in here, you can see the words, they have power, they knock everybody over. Now, here's the other thing about the sword, I want to take a step back, he, Luke will go take a step back and look, I kind of hopped over it. And I did it intentionally and saved it for right here. So that you can see these two things together. Because what I'm about to show you, a lot of people will take it and pluck it out of the context, right? Just those few verses. And they won't like finish. And like get what it's all about. So I want to take you to the verses that people misuse. So if we take just a step back from where we started today, remember that Peters fervently saying like I'm not going to deny you right so, Lord, I'm ready to go to prison with You even die with you. But Jesus says, Peter, let me tell you something before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you'll deny three times that you even know me. Right? When Jesus? He asked and listen when I sent you up to preach the good news, like the first time. You didn't have any money traveler's bag, or an extra pair of sandals Did you? Did you need anything? No, they replied, We didn't need anything. But now take your money in a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled. He was counted among the rebels. Yes, everything written about Me by the prophets will come true. So by a sword. So here's what happens. They say, Look, Lord, we have two swords. Now, the next thing Jesus says is important is sometimes confused. Most likely, it's enough, right? Stop it like you're not have you been listening this whole time? To anything I'm saying? Also, when he sent them, what did he tell them? Right? When you're persecuted in one town, flee to the next. He didn't say, get a sword chop up the people. Never say that. So most likely the proper translation is it's enough like, Duh, you know, you're not getting this. Or if it really is. That's enough. Do you think Jesus is that bad at math? Right? There are nine swords short, Judas has left them right. To swords. It's not enough. Jesus isn't bad at math. So here's what's going on here. If you also remember, remember, Jesus said, I didn't come to bring peace but a sword. And he was talking about like parents, I will divide, you know, families will be divided over me. Did he mean caught your dad's head off? Say no, please, please say no. I mean, it's just gets really frustrating. No, no. It means just to divide it. It's a figurative sort. Same, here's basing be ready, right? Now. Jump forward. Right. What does he say to Peter chops off Mal? Because this year, we're going to John tells on him it's only place you find the names of the people. It's the gospel of John's kind of jobs over there. Jesus says die put away the sword. And then what does he do heals his year? Do not. If we keep reading, we go to Matthew 2615. So Judas is going to come to the tram, Judas his kiss, Jesus said my friend, go ahead and do what you have come forth and the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus Peter pulled out his sword and struck the high P slave Highbury slave slashing off his ear. Pay attention, put away your sword, Jesus told him, those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don't you realize that I could ask my father for 1000s of angels to protect us. And he would send them instantly. Jesus's followers don't need swords. We have the sword of the Spirit. That's the sword we need. It's not a regular sword. Jesus tells them not to use swords. Also, if you keep reading, you'll know what I know, an axe. There's no instance of them ever retaliating with any kind of violence. And James, James and John is killed by the sword. What do they do? retaliate? No, you go to prison, they die, whatever be like Jesus. Okay. So just to clear that up. And whenever you see that line used, don't know your Bible, or out of context. So just to clear that up, and it'll tie into what we're talking about. So now Jesus gets put on trial. And here's what I want to acknowledge. It's going to seem like I'm going through this really fast. It's not to dishonor this whole section or anything like that. It's that just before Easter, before the Good Friday, before Good Friday, that Sunday, I went through this at length in great detail. I want to focus on Jesus's last words from the cross. So I'm not going through quickly just to say don't pay attention to this. It's just you can read on your own. You can go back watch that message. You should just read it on your own. Really, I just want to summarize this to talk about that section, just so you know what I'm doing here. So he gets bounced around a lot. A lot of people don't understand you really have to kind of like look at all the Gospel accounts at once and see what's going on. But he goes to ns. Then he goes to kyphosis the actual High Priests so he's bounced around on all these Little trials he's questioned again and again and again amidst that, and you can put up the chart like just to kind of see this is chronological ish, right? So some scholars would be like, perfect and then others would be like, No, you're wrong. So it's kind of difficult to do amidst this you have to read it and kind of like flash through scenes like you're watching some TV show like three things going on at once. So Peters denying him and he'll get through his three denials in the course of these trials. But it's important he finally gets put before the council in the morning. Then they take Him to Pilate, Pontius Pilate, Pontius Pilate doesn't aim to have them doesn't know what to do. He sends him to Herod Harrods, like the Tetrarch, the king of the Jewish people of that time, he's like a client King is what they would call him, he gets actually mocked there, and there's like a purple robe seen there, too. Then he gets sent back to Pilate. Again, Pilar doesn't want anything to do with them. His wife's like, you know, she has a dream and everything. So this whole thing, there is a dialogue with Jesus the longest in John, that's the longest dialogue we get between Pilate and Jesus. And then you know, the scene, right? He wants to kind of give him a shot to get off the hook. So you have Jesus or Barabas, but they're like, Crucify Him, crucify him. Fine. So then it sends this into motion. And what we have here is Jesus flogged out. This is just a really small, it's a short section just kind of says that he was flogged right with the lead tip, if you read it, and you can kind of like be tempted to go Passover too quickly, but just stop. So you can put the picture up, I just want to explain something to if you didn't already know, it's worse than that. It's really, really, really bad. I Gore would be the actual thing. Some scholars say that he's whipped so badly that you could see his organs. Now, if you've ever gotten a tattoo on your back or seen someone do that, it's painful. Why? Because I'm not saying you should do that, right. But obviously, I've made mistakes but so it you're all your nerves are there. Well, your nerves come right out of the spine there. So this is just extremely painful. I got really bad sunburn on my back once and it was debilitating. I couldn't even move. So now imagine having your back like flayed whipped open. Alright, so it's crazy. It's like a lead tip whip. They say some of these whips would have like cheekbones and stuff in it so that it would not just like whip and then cause it to tear. It would be tearing at your back. So this is where Jesus is out here in these couple sentences in the Bible. It's insane. Then insult to injury, he's marked. The Roman soldiers are going to play with him a little bit they the Euro King, right? They put a crown of thorns on his head. So now you know if you know anything about like head injuries. I know a lot about head injuries. Unfortunately from fighting anything like you cut above the eyebrows bleeds like crazy. It just bleeds a lot tighter. There's a lot of fighters do they try to like my tie the elbow you hear why to get you to bleed because they can't stop the cut. That's why I have a cut man. Can't stop the cut. They stopped the fight. That's it. You can't see. So he's bleeding profusely, like his blood is coming out from everything. It's crazy. So hit him with a read stick. They mock and purple robe and they're mocking Jesus spitting on him. Now. He's dead. Like this guy is going to die. That's it. No human being.
He's in a human form he's got he's going to die. That's it. So they haven't carry across being probably the beam. How do you do that? Of course he falls right. So Simon of Cyrene father of Alexander and Rufus will talk about Rufus and Rome Romans 16. He appears so anyway. But anyway, he often carry the cross, you're just looking at a dead man at this point. they crucify him. So you can put that up nailed to the cross is interesting. Because if you're just reading it, you're like, wait a minute, it doesn't say that unless you're like reading and we'll look at it and easy reading version kind of another example of like, keep reading read the whole text because in John 20, you know that Thomas says I don't want to see the nail wounds in his wrist. So Greek word for wrist and hand are the same in Biblical Greek like a caddy is like hand or wrist can be either one. So probably hear people debate too much about that. He gets nailed to the cross, which is horrific. If you put them through here, you're going to bleed out, like that's it, right, you're going to hit the vein or artery or whatever. They're, it's horrific. nailing the feet on this is too pretty. They've excavated certain sites and they found Jewish prisoners crucified, the nail probably went through both heels. Now, if you know anything about crucifixion, it's that you're going to suffocate. That's what's going to happen to you. If you hang by your arms for a long time. Like, you die. If you can't do what you got to do with your diaphragm. It takes a long time. It might take like a day or two, but eventually you just you won't have the strength to pull yourself back up or get that air that you need. Well think about it. You know, if you do this, take a deep breath and don't do it now. Stay seated. Take a deep breath. Yeah, I met us Take a deep breath, right, but now, don't do it. Now, turn to your side and try to take that same deep breath. It didn't happen the same way. So if you're like this, yeah, not just uncomfortable, but you can't get your diaphragm, the movement to move the way it should move. But here's the thing, he's bleeding out. And think about it. It's just unimaginable that you would have nails going through your wrists or hands, your heels, right, that's enough. That's enough. But now in order to breathe, you have to pull yourself up against those nails, or push against that nail, it's gone through hills. And your backs cut wide open, and you're rubbing it against the tree. So it's six hours of, of crucifixion, there. So some people will say three, they're bad at math, and it's six. So it's from nine to three and our way of thinking of time, and spoiler alert, and pilot surprised when they asked her is by Joseph Varma, Thea because again, it usually takes a long time. But he's just lost so much blood. That's it the last six hours, just on the mat, I can't like think too deeply about it, because it makes me weep. It's just what you know, to a normal person. This is unimaginable to witness something like this, but my lord, it's, it's crazy. So amidst this, he's being ridiculed, or all these things are happening to him. So this is why I want to focus like in this state. Jesus is dying, you know, is? What does he say? What comes out of his mouth? Luke 2332, two others, both criminals were led to be executed with him. When they came to the place called the Skull, they nailed him. Now the easy reader will just say nail because that is what happens, but just as crucified and agree to cross and the criminals were also crucified. Warner's right was left. Jesus said, Father, forgive them. For they don't know what they're doing. And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. What? So, I meet with people all the time, they have problems. Right, the problem. And one of the problems a lot of people have is they just can't seem to forgive somebody who like owes him 100 bucks. This can't seem to do it. How long have you been struggling with this years? years? You know, and it just it takes all of me not to like just put up to here. You know what he said? Forgive them. That's what he said. Seriously? Now, it's not uncommon if you have problems forgiving someone I'll talk about a little later. It's a problem. But it's not uncommon. You're not alone. But really forgive them immediately. Luke 2339 What are the criminals hanging beside him scuffed? So you're the Messiah, you are you prove it by saving yourself and as to while you're at it, but the other criminal protest it? Don't you fear God, even when you've been sentenced to die, we deserve to die for our crimes. But this man hasn't done anything wrong. Then Jesus that he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom? And Jesus replied, I assure you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. Really, this guy is sent as a criminal robber, right? But he sent us to die. Jesus forgives him for believing in him. Wow. twice now. He's forgiving people that probably don't deserve it. John and Mary John 1925, standing near the Cross, where Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of clovers, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there besides the disciple he loved. He said to her, your woman, here's your son, and he said to the disciple, here's your mother. And from then on, this disciple took her into his home. He's concerned about everybody else. I don't know about you, right? But like when I get hurt real bad. I don't think about anybody but myself. We go into like protection mode, right? When you start worrying about ourselves. This is beyond emergency mode. This is crazy. And he's like, arranging affairs from the cross. Don't you think? Like he knows his mom would be fine. Again, six hours of crucifixion and then you get the death of Jesus. And so here's this other three hours going on Matthew 2745 and noon. darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock at about three o'clock Jesus is called out with a loud voice Eli Lama Suboxone, which means My God, My God, why have you abandoned me? John 1928, Jesus knew that his mission was not finished. And to fulfill scripture, he said, I'm thirsty, a jar of sour wine was sitting there. So they soaked a sponge in it and put it on the hyssop branch and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted, he said, It is finished. And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit, Luke 2344. By this time, it was about noon and darkness fell across the whole land going back to Matthew there, the light from the Sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn down in the middle. Then Jesus shouted, Father, I'm trusting my spirit into your hands with those words, He breathed His last. Now, we won't have the time to get into all the deep theology there and tie ins to the Old Testament, hyssop branch and everything, and just want to focus on the application, but we can go over to Bible study, that's fine. Let's just stay in this moment. These, these are some powerful, last words, powerful. And there's just I could just talk all day, about their meaning. Powerful. And indeed, these words have power. And it just kind of makes me reflect. You know, a perfect Jesus is that makes me think like, Have you ever said something that you wished you could take back? I think that's all of us. Right? They've said that words are like toothpaste. Once they're out. You can't get them back in the tube. That's it. Now, many will try. But why engage in such a messy, futile effort? When we can just avoid it in the first place? Now, maybe we're able to apologize. But here's the thing, just think about it this way, twist thinking a tiny bit, or turn it around Since a twist? What if it becomes too late? What if those words, were your last words to that person? It's interesting. It's something I probably picked up from my grandparents or somewhere along the line. somebody in my family once said, like, notice as a kid, like, whenever they would part company, they're always like, give each other hug and kiss. And they argued a lot, but it would all get dropped. Like in that moment, if they were going to, like leave the house or part company that say I love you. Always, like, always. And to this day, my wife leaves the house, my daughter leaves, I love you. And it doesn't matter what's going on. It doesn't matter. We could be fighting argue, whatever it is disagree. Because the thinking is, if this is the last thing, this is what I want her to remember. If it's the last thing I say to her, I want her to know that doesn't matter what happened, it doesn't matter. I love you doesn't stop going to change that. That's important. If you don't do that, think about it. You know, it's anything can tomorrow is not guaranteed? I don't know. So I love you.
The last thing out of my mouth. I want her to hear. Those are going to be my last words if they're mine, or if they're the last words she hears. Because words have power. It's not about these arguments. We need to settle differences because in that process, in the process of getting the last word in, we have to remember that those words or that word might be the last day ever hear. We don't often think about how close we are to our last words. So the scriptures challenge us right? Will our last words to a person are our own? Will they follow the pattern of Christ?
Will they be like his? Will they be caring? Like Jesus cared for his mom? Will they be caring words? Will they be selfless? In that way? Will we have forgiven others? Even if they don't deserve it? Like the thief or the people crucifying Jesus gambling for his clothes?
Will we forgive them? Think about it. What he's going through the suffering and Mogherini forgiveness them. Well, we do that without an excuse. But I want to forgive them but I'm really struggling with as well. And here's the thing I have to be real with you. There are some very serious consequences. A lot of you know the Lord's Prayer, right? And how do you end it? Line is the kingdom the power and the glory years forever and ever right? Jesus never said that. You know That's not a part of the Lord's Prayer. Now, it's a great thing to say because it's true. But if you go to Matthew six that's not there. You know it is there. If you forgive others, your father will forgive you. If you don't, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins. That's how it really ends. six verses 14 and 15. That's what's immediately following. But strangely, we've taken it out. Why do you think that is? We just added something else. doxology Hmm. Open your Bible and read it. Kind of funny. So it's scary, too, isn't it? If you don't forgive others, your father. Now there's some hyperbole in the Lord's Prayer, right, like plucking your eyes up? From everything I know about the Word of God. I don't think that's hyperbole. I think he means because he says it. And other times when we looked at that in the series, it's interesting. So here's the thing, I just want to share this with you from my perspective, when I'm with someone who's dying, and they're going to be saying their last words. Two things are primary for me. I'm racing to these two things. First thing, do you know Jesus? Is He your Lord and your Savior? Do you really believe that? See your Lord and your Savior? Because without that, you am not getting it? That's it. Like, we don't have time, like, Okay, do I need to do whatever I need to do depending on where the person is at right? share the Gospel, like, you've really that this is all you need. Next part is equally as important, because of what Jesus says, Who do you need to forgive? The next thing I said, that's why I go to Who do you need to forgive? Because if you believe what Jesus is saying, if you have lack of forgiveness in your heart, you are not getting in your Father will not forgive your sins. And I want you to read it. Let him I'm going to read it to you not going to put it up on the screen. You open your Bible and read, read the whole sermon on the mount, please, three chapters, you won't die, maybe you will. But the good thing to read right before you die. Get to chapter six, I believe it's right around 1415 read those words. It's important. Do we believe, like Jesus, that we're going to go to the Father that we're going to go to heaven? Are we ready to commit our spirit, our soul into God's hands and thereby forsake the world? Jesus says, wasn't a profit a man to gain the whole world but lose your soul? Are we ready? Do we really believe your faith, real faith? Do we believe that we're going to heaven? Do we believe this whole thing?
Here's the thing. Jesus didn't die, so that we could win arguments. But why? So that we could hurt each other with our words, so that we could sin that wasn't the purpose here died for our sins, but not so that we could sit? He didn't take insult injury so that we could turn around and insult and injure others. That wasn't the point. It's not why he didn't die. So we could have the last word. He is the last word. So this happens, right? So that Jesus tells them how many times I don't know so many times, this is going to happen you too. And you know, when he's saying what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? You know, as he says, right in that section. You want to be a follower. You need to deny yourself pick up your cross and follow me. That's the context. Because Peters saying what no, Lord, this won't happen because you just told them he's going to suffer and die. To a point. Okay, so they might not get it right, because the swords thing, but then they do and we see an axe they start to get it. Oh, okay. You know, and they accept the persecution. They even counted as joy that they were beaten the Jewish religiously that we got to suffer for Jesus. Yes. Relax. It's amazing. It turns around, they get it. They see what Jesus goes through. And so later in the Bible, you get letters like First and Second Peter. They're written primarily because of suffering first and second. Thessalonians is like this to their suffering persecution, there's their suffering, people are putting him in jail, beating him in the context of First Peter setting them on fire. Well, emperors around that time like Nero like to do that for fun to Christians. It just lets us set them on fire. and watch him run around, make candles out of them. That's what's going on here to Christian. So first Peter is written. And let me dive in here. So speaking of Jesus sacrifice this is a mindset he wants you to be in first Peter 118. For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors were not paid with mere gold or silver which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began. But now in these last days, he has been revealed for your sick. We continues First Peter 122. You are cleansed from your sins when you evade the truth. So now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. So you see the response that he's calling for. Jesus died for you accepted this and so your response should be just loving everybody. Get to the second chapter first peer to one, so get rid so Jesus died for you, right? Love one another. So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Oh, unkind speech be done with that. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. When you think that means cry out for this nourishment. Now that you've had a taste of the Lord's kindness return it. So if he continues he talks about being living stones for God's house. We've talked about this again this series temporary residence we're just passing through this is not our permanent home. And other theme here, right? So we're just passing through. So he says this, it is God's will that your honorable lives in silence those ignorant people will make foolish accusations against you. Right? What? What should silence them our words back? Nope. Our actions for your free, yet, you're God's slaves. Don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. First Peter to 17 Respect everyone and love the family of believers fear God and respect the king. What? But wait, he's burning our families alive. Respect him. Did you see what Jesus did? And this is a letter not to like a specific church leader. This is a letter to all Christians. You mean? Doesn't matter how you're being treated, respect and honor them. What? First, Peter 221 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example. And you must follow in his steps. In never sinned, nor deceived anyone. He did not retaliate. When he was insulted, nor threatened revenge when he suffered, he left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds, you are healed. He is our example. We must follow in his steps. He carried our sins on the cross so we could be dead to those sins. And that includes retaliation, anger, insults, those are all sins, arguing, being argumentative or divisive. So if we go to Galatians, five, that's the flesh being divisive. He took our place and gave us freedom, not to sin, but to return the love. That's the point. Now, here's the thing. We often retaliate, why do we retaliate? Why do we do that? Because we think we know everything about that other person must be right. It's like the gospel. That's a hill you want to die on. All right. Great. How many times have you changed your position about certain things? Or, you know, as you get older, you think differently about certain things, right? So it's good to listen to yours. One mouth for a good reason. Listen, listen. No, only hear it up. Right? Jesus isn't God La la la la la. I'm not listening. Okay, that's what I'm going to do that. But other things. I will listen, even within doctrine and theology, it's whatever Okay? But we retaliate. Because we think we know everything, right? You think you know everything. So amazing. You know, it's it doesn't it's not just politics, I think of that that comes to mind. But you think you know, everything, you know, and then you meet someone, like my friend dad, right. And he's worked in Washington for many, many years. And, you know, like we, like we said from the scriptures, right? They're all liars, you realize is that when you get to see what's going on behind the scenes, you're like, Oh, I didn't know that. So be careful. In the Bible. You'll see it tells us don't think you know it all. careful, very careful when people are being played. And so but the problem is, we believe that right, I can't be played. I can't be deceived. I can. I'm right. I'm right. I'm right. And then we're on this mission to prove there when I'm right. My position is right, you need to hear my position because the only right one, nobody else is right about me, or anyone who believes in me and votes the same way. Okay. But let me tell you something. That's not a Christian attitude.
The gospels above all that garbage Mo said a bad word. And as a former New Yorker, I worry about that every time I preach.
Close, thank you, Jesus, Holy Spirit. So get me riled up. But anyway, sorry. We're sharing. We're sharing the gospel. It's above all the other nonsense. It's all noise. Like,
I'm doing everything I do to get to the gospel. I will do anything. Especially make you pizza. So like, right, so and I'll use anything I want to get you to the gospel is fine. You know what I mean? I'll dress how are you wanting to dress or whatever. I'll say I like fishing. Like, whatever. I'll go fishing with you, Kevin, you don't mean things I don't like doing I'll just do them all the time. But that's what you're supposed to do. Right? You're supposed to meet people where they are. Okay, fine. You know what I mean? I'll try and then let's just talk about Jesus. Like, everything just needs to get to Jesus. So here's the thing, they had the this problem in the early church too, and I'm just going to, I'm going to kind of paraphrase Romans, For you. On because this is what's about them, then we'll close and you can eat pizza, huh? So here's the thing. Let's dive in, though and not lose our concentration. I'm preaching to myself the pizza, I can almost smell it. So. So Romans, they had this problem in the early church too. And this is what Romans is all about. Ephesians is about this too. So people begin thinking they know everything, and they develop these superiority complexes. So the first problem is found an x, you get the Jews. So if you don't understand I'm just going to make this as short as I can. Basically, Christianity is not Christianity yet. So it gets like x 11 Verse 27, I think, but you know, I call it Christians. It's like the sect of the Nazarene. Right? Jesus of Nazareth. So it's a Jewish sect pretty much need to be Jewish to kind of get in you don't see too many Gentile believers until x 10. And Peter gets it. He's like, Oh, the Gentiles come in, too. So it's a Jewish faith, right? So you have your first church is being built, and they're being built by Jewish people that converted to Christianity to think about like Messianic Jews, that kind of thing. So they're developing, if you get to x 18. You see Priscilla and Aquila come from Rome. Why? Because Claudius the Emperor at the time expelled the Jews from Rome, kicked them out. That's it get out. But eventually, I think ironically, by Nero, they get let back into Rome. But what was happening in the meantime, while the churches were still going, but who was running them? Gentiles? Right? These are people who are not Jews, right? So just for the sake of argument, this is not completely correct, but you need to think of Judaism, especially in this period. It's like an ethno religion. Right. So it's like a religion and an ethnicity as well. So they're like, we're God's chosen people, which isn't entirely wrong. And Paul will also talk about that. So think of it, they're having these religious and ethnic divisions in the church, right? So it's like racism, think of it kind of like that, right? Under you ever. So they're butting heads, and Paul doesn't like it. And God doesn't like it. So this is why Romans is written. He didn't sit down, and it's a great theological work, you can sit down and go, let me blow their minds right now at some great theology. No, he's trying to get them to get along. And so you need to sit down and read all of Romans at once. And you'll get this picture. And so I'm paraphrasing, using many translations can just understand that it's not perfect. But this is I want you to just see what Romans is all about on a topic and then we'll finish with some scriptures instead of me. What's going on is chapter one, he starts off the letter. No, just anything you read in Romans keep that context in mind. You're dealing with Jews in general, just imagine like two different races, or two different religions doing this. Everything you're in Rome is just apply that apply that apply every verse we read, that has to be on your mind, it has to lead to that. That's how you get Romans, right? One, the Gentiles have sinned. That's Chapter One basic point right? To the Jews have sinned if you know so much because they're superior. They have your teeth yourself. So remember, they have the law and so when he's telling you about the law this is why you notice so much Teach Yourself. Right? Chapter Three, we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Chapter Four, he goes back to the lawn uses Abraham as an example of faith. Right? So he had faith before he was circumcised before the law of Moses. That's why he's talking about Abraham that right so he's back to the Jewish people scan like this back and forth to the boy he's like, you know, reprimanding both groups, right? So four, five through seven, Adam in Christ contrasts is getting a whole point here the new algorithm, it's Christ, right. So this is Adams, the law in chapter five. So he starts there, chapter six, you're not slaves to sin. Chapter Seven. If anyone says to you, that's about Paul struggling with sins, stop listening to them. They don't know what they're talking about. It's called possible PC. It's a literary device in which Paul is mocking Adam. He can't be struggling with sin, because he just said in chapter six, we are not slaves to sin. You're in trouble? Should we keep on sinning so that grace may abound? may never be. That's how he starts chapter six. Right? They don't understand chapter seven, not tracing. He's mocking Adam, why we have new Christ. Then in chapter eight, if you didn't get it, he says, We have a new life for the power of the Holy Spirit. We're not dead in our sin anymore. We're done. And here's the thing, you want to get to nine through 11, nine through 11. That's, that's the section where this comes to mind. So Paul's like, Wait a minute. What about all the Jewish people who don't believe in Jesus? What's going to happen to them? So when you read nine through 11, that has to be on your mind the division? And what's going to happen to the Jews that don't accept Jesus? Well, Paul says, right, like, paraphrase, instead of seeing these people go to hell, right. That's the point. I would rather be cursed and be separated from Christ. Now, that's got to be hyperbole, right? It can't mean that. But the point there and the word is anathema. And cursed isn't good enough. In Greek way of thinking. It's more like saying a bad word in church, like, it's damned. I'd rather be damned than see all these people lost. And so what Paul's like basically bouncing around, he gives some beautiful illustrations like the olive tree. And here's you got to know, remember this, the budding of the heads is going on. So he's kind of like going back and forth to both the groups. And so what he's saying is his point is that there must be their job, God's elect people, they're God's chosen people, there must be hope for them. Like, that's Paul's heart. This was hard as saying here, right? He gives this illustration back to the Gentiles, like, you know, hey, look, you know, and Don't gloat over this situation that the Jews are in, like, if you a wild olive branch, were grafted into the natural tree, right? Yeah, some of those branches fell off, but how much easier will they be grafted in? That's the point. So think I want you to think about this. And if you've been in church for a while, and you've heard that theology that people usually go to, in there, think about what's going on, think about what Paul's saying here. What is Paul saying? No division in the church, because they're all one get along. Also, even the Jews who didn't believe and think about it, if you've read X, what did they do to stone? Him? They tried to kill him. There chase up basically the whole end of the book after chasing them around, right, trying to get them thrown in prison killed. What does Paul do? Exactly like Jesus? Forgive them? Lord, I hope they get in. That's the point in those chapters. He hopes they get in. And Gentiles. You know what, they're just using you to make them jealous so that they get in. Okay, now, if you've been in church for a long time, think about what the theologians who become so wise that they're fools argue about in that section. I'm getting in, you're not. That's what it is. Come up with all kinds of like different theologies and names. And I'm a this and I'm an I'm a Christian, right? So I'm not like, I don't know, some theological belief of a guy that lived 1000 or more years later. I'm a Christian, I follow Christ, not Kelvin or somebody else. And you had to say it, right? Because the argument not to Calvinists, I'm not a Arminianism, or whatever it is. They have these dumb arguments, quite frankly, in light of what Paul's saying. Pausing I hope everybody gets in. While these theologians, Hearts of Stone are saying, well, you know that groups not getting in they're not electing or they're not predestined or anything like that. Did that person just missed the whole point of the letter? You can say yes, yes, they did. The whole point of the letters. I hope everybody gets in. Stop arguing. Love, love, love. So here's what happens. It all builds up to chapter 12. And you get kind of a therefore in your version, right? So okay, all this stuff you guys need to get along? Oh, this theology book Okay, here's the point. So therefore, and in Greek, it's political. All right? So it's like, please, it means please, literally, and thank you. But what he's saying is like I'm pleading with you, he starts, that's the first word right that Romans 12 One, I'm begging you, basically, right? Make yourself a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. This is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, or this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Don't think like all these worldly people, and the way you might have been? Think like Jesus, who is a sacrifice, make yourself like that. That's worship. That's what I want from you. Be like a modern day pastor said, Turn off the music and sing, stop it. Like just love one another. That's it. That's worship, just loving each other. That's it. So I want to hear from you. Enough. That's where Paul is. And that's how the letter turns Romans 12 Three. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning, don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest, in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourself by the faith God has given us, just as our bodies have many parts, and each part has a special function. So it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body and we all belong to each other.
A plea for unity. You're all part of the body, you're the same. You have differences, you have different functions, but you're all part of the same body. You're the body of Christ. So he talks about that in different gifts. People get lost in that to miss the point. But if we continue Romans 1214 Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them. Pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep, live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people and don't think you know, at all. Not the verse of the day. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see your honorable do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God for the Scriptures say, I will take revenge. I will pay them back says the Lord. instead. If your enemies are hungry, feed them they're thirsty, give them something to drink and doing this. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don't let evil conquer you but do evil. Right? conquer evil by doing good. Sorry, bad slip. But conquer evil by doing good. Proverbs 25. He's quoting there, but do you get the point? Do good to those. Right. So why so? If you keep reading the chapter 13 will sound exactly like First Peter chapter two. Honor authorities. You're supposed to just honor them pay your taxes. Like why are you guys worrying about these things? In light of what Christ did for you? What do you what? So gets into the next section loving your neighbor fulfills the law. This is how you fulfill the law. Love your neighbor, stop with their theology had enough of it. Just the you want to fulfill all the stuff you're talking about turning the person next to you just love that person no matter who they are, what religion they are, what color they are. It doesn't matter. Stop it. Just love everybody, even your enemies. Why? Well, Romans 1311 This is all the more urgent for you know how late it is. Time is running out. Wake up for our salvation is nearer now than we first believed. The night is almost gone, the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes and put on the Shining Armor of right living. Because we belong to the day we must live decent lives for all to see. Don't participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness or a sexual promiscuity or immoral living or in quarreling or jealousies. Yeah, that's right. They're in with all the bad stuff. Right there, same level. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think of ways to indulge your evil desires. Here's where last week in this week all come together. We are told how to fight the spiritual battle. Put away the sword put away the sword. Instead, take up the sword of the Spirit, which is what? The Word of God which commands us to do what? love everybody. No exceptions. No buts in this war, it's not being fought with physical. We're not just fighting for mere flesh and blood are fighting for souls. There's only one way to win souls. It's not with violence or abusive words. With love. That's it can't remember something like close it, just remember this. We just miss this. Jesus loves me this hour. But Jesus died for his missing For God so loved the world, right? He died for me. And that's a correct thing right? He died for me. Remember this? He also died for your enemy. We forget that he died for your enemy too. We must not work against the Lord's work by mistreating others, you must live sacrificially as he did. Jesus died for enemies and just one thought.
Haven't you been the enemy? Because I'll tell you, every time we sin were the enemy.
I've been the enemy. I'll just start with me. My name is Jean. And I've been the enemy. I actually railed against Christianity. I spoke out against Jesus. I believed in other worldviews, a lot of different worldviews. I've been through a ton of them. And I would argue with Christians that Jesus wasn't real. That was my favorite one that comes up all the time, which I'm very passionate when I started giving that whole speech, I bet anyway, you get my point. Like I learned the truth by listening. But here's the thing, listening to who I didn't listen to those who argued with me about it. I was wrong. But all the people that would fight with me, I'm like, going to listen to you. So even knowing sometimes that I was wrong, I would just say all kinds of crazy things just to win the argument or argue with them. I was angry. It made me angry. That's what you do. When you start fighting with people, you just kindled their anger, you get nowhere. And so I didn't get anywhere. But you know, when I finally got somewhere, gracious, patient, Christians. That's when I listened, through all my faults, everything that I was knowingly doing wrong trying to hide, they loved me. They were gracious with me. They were patient with me. They always told me the truth, even when it hurt, but they loved me and I knew that. Eve even though I was the enemy. And look at what God can do. You can take someone who was once the enemy like a Paul persecuting the church
and turn that person into someone preaching the gospel. How to Love, love, love. We are to extend the grace that we have been given.
It's all about our passion for Jesus, and our compassion for those for whom he died. Only pray for you, Lord. Thank you for everyone. Here as parts of the body of Christ, I pray that they know that you love them. I pray that the gravity of that love may be felt so that it overflows on to everyone they encounter, that they see your face in the face of the enemy, that it changes people radically. Use us as vehicles of Your grace, your mercy and your love. I asked these things in Jesus's name.