Gaming God's Grace
Gaming God’s GraceMon, May 29, 2023 9:59AM • 45:53SUMMARY KEYWORDSJesus, god, people, give, church, happened, good, continues, grace, man, read, son, Lazarus, money, baptized, parables, lost, father, point, pastor
Those lights are bright. Good morning. If you're new here among us, my name is Jean I serve. You're at sea three church as your pastor. And there was some debate this morning, as to whether I should address the lump on my face. So if you have good eyesight, my jaw is a little swollen up, it was worse last night? And the answer is no, it is not. Because how they're punched me in the face. She told me to say that I fell. So that's my story. And I'm sticking with it. So it's going to be one of those mornings, this should get pretty interesting. As my tablet just totally disagrees with me here. No, no, it's that would be really, really bad, especially today. So here's what really happened. About halfway through my sermon, I noticed him getting really hungry sometimes. So I packed a little extra food in there, it'll disappear. Now, it's called emergency oral surgery. So that's what happened to me. So this could be interesting. Yeah, this, this could be an interesting sermon today. So I'll start with the story. Even though the ice is clearly broken, sorry about my jaw. Sorry about to Fred. Don't feel sorry for me. I deserve worse. To friends, they're good friends. They know each other really, really well. And one's really sad. And it doesn't take a best friend. And notice that this guy said his eyes are welling up. He's about to cry. And so the friend says, Brian, what What's got you so down? Why are you going to cry? What what's going on? He's like, No, you wouldn't understand. Forget it. No, no, no, I want to help. Let me let me alleviate this burden. You put it on me. All right. Here's the thing. Three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me $50,000. So he's like, Well, I could see that's a mixed blessing. why you're upset. But two weeks ago, my cousin who I never met, died, and he left me $100,000. That's a blessing. But, but last week, my aunt passed away. And she left me $250,000. So the friends like, Well, I think I got this. I know why you're said. So here's what you're trying to deal with a lot of loss in three weeks, you experienced a lot of loss. I think that's it. And the lesson here is that money can't buy happiness. Right. Now, sort of why are you sad? Well, this week, nobody died. And nobody left me any money. Yeah, we can often come to a point where we expect got that right. Did I get that right? Can we expect certain blessings, taking the ones we already have for granted? We're going to kind of look at that today. Last week. Can you see can you hear Do you recognize Jesus's voice, right? It's a key to cutting through all the noise and the confusion out there recognizing Jesus's voice. Well, now that we recognize his voice, here's the question. Will we obey it? This was going to be an easy week. No. So today, we're going to talk about taking things for granted, especially God's grace. So no chart today to explain this to you. If you're not new here, I'll keep it short. Sometimes we have charts because we're doing the Bible in chronological order. It's not in chronological order. You have four gospels, for example, that's where we are. And sometimes they give different perspectives. And so some will have whole sections that are not in the others. We're kind of running into ish that so we're back in Luke, Luke 14 through 16. If you're following along larger sections, just so you know, it's a good reminder is going to show us how certain things connect. Even maybe if you've never been in church before, you probably heard one of these parables. And the problem is, is people kind of interrupt Jesus, I've talked about this in the past, so they come in late to a sermon or they leave early or they do both. And they don't get the point. When in larger sections like this, sometimes it's just like all Jesus talking. You know, think about that. Right? So the Sermon on the Mount five through seven, Matthew, is just Jesus talking. There's no interruption there. Right. So he's like, Oh, but let's just study Matthew five. But what do you do if you're preaching the sermon? Jesus does this he clarifies himself. You'll start with one thing, speaking a lot of hyperbole. And then you'll round it out and you'll go by, you know, or clarify the statement here. And so when we leave the sermon, we miss that answer. We're going to see a theme here. And it gets very interesting when you stretch out these larger sections like Jesus is going somewhere with it, then you'll see a progression in these parables, which most people don't necessarily see. So again, no chart, let's just hop right in Luke 14, we're going to start at verse 25. Because we covered some of the other stuff last week, a large crowd was following Jesus, he turned around said to them, if you want to be my disciple, you must by comparison, hate everyone else. Your father, mother, wife, and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. If you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you can't be my disciple.
Wow. Interesting. So we'll get to the point later. So I'm going to kind of go through this for you. So you don't have to be staring at the screen all time. He continues. But don't begin until you count the cost for when someone begin construction on a building without first calculating the cost. So what is his point? Well, you could run out of money. And then everyone would laugh at you look at that guy who started the building and couldn't even afford to finish it. He continues, what King would go to war against another king with his 10,000 men against the other kings 20,000 men, as it approaches to say, when you send a delegation to make peace, right, so he continues, you cannot become a disciple. Without giving up everything you own. Salt is good for seasoning, but if it loses its flavor, how you make it salty, again, flavor, the salt is good neither for the soil, nor the manure pile, it is thrown away. Anyone with the ears to hear, should listen to understand. So there are those ears to hear again. So this is about calculated commitment. We're going to talk about this a little bit later. But hang on to that. Remember what Jesus does before. He says, Hey, come on, let's just get baptized. There was a lot there wasn't there. Calculated commitment, you won't stay committed. Unless you know what you signed up for. Right? You're going to fall away. And that's the point. It's about being committed and obedient. If you're wondering, salt in the covenants is also a sign of permanence. You are to be permanently obedient. Luke 15 one he continues tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people even eating with them. So Jesus told them this story. If a man has 100 sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? When he leaves the 99 others in the wilderness and go to search for that one that is lost until he finds it. We just found it. He'll joyfully carried home on his shoulders. When he arrives, you will call together as friends neighbors saying Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep. In the same way, there's more joy in heaven over one loss sinner repents and returns to God than over 99 others who are righteous and haven't strayed away. And it continues with another parable a woman has 10 coins. If she loses one of them, she's going to sweep the whole house, look under everything, scour it just go after that one last kind of when she found it, she'll have her friends over and rejoice with me. I found my last coin. In the same way. There is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents. He continues, Luke 1511. To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story, a man had two sons, the younger son told his father, I want my share of your estate now before you die, so his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later, this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land. And there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out. A great famine swept over the land, he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him. The meds sent him out in his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods are carob pods. He was feeding the pigs look good to him. But no one gave him anything. So now if we continue, probably heard the story. When he came to his senses. He said, I know what I'll do. The servants want for nothing. They're not starving at my father's house. Oh, go back and I'll say father, I've sinned against heaven you. I'm not worthy to be your son, but take me back as your slave. So then you get this scene where he decides to go back, and the father's ready like well running towards him with open arms, right? To embrace the son that was lost. And he goes through about almost the spiel, right? And apologizes. And he says to his servants, look, no, get my son arraign the robe sandals like dress him up. He was lost. But now he's found then you get another picture of the brother coming in from the fields working so they kill the fatted calf. They're having this festival. He's like what's going on? What's all the noise serve and tells him that your brother who's lost but now he's been fun Alan, when he gets angry, he won't go into the party. Father comes out what's up? Come on in. He was lost. And now he's been found. No, you haven't done anything. I've been by your side this whole time, father, but you've never even sacrifice any animal for me or done anything like this, again, is lost. But now he's been on anything to do. It even accuses him. He squandered all his money on prostitutes. He says, He doesn't want to go in but the Father's point, he's dead, but now he's come back to life. So, here's the thing. We continue. So he's lost, but now he's been found. Luke 16. One Jesus told this story to His disciples, no break here. Just a chapter which is awkward. Sometimes when you're reading the Bible, there was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day report came that the manager was wasting his employer's money. So the employer called him in and said, What's this? I hear about you get your report in order because you're going to be fired. The manager thought to himself now what? My boss has fired me, I don't have the strength to dig ditches and I'm too proud to beg. I know what I'll do to ensure that plenty of friends will give me a home when I'm fired. So he invites in different people want to owed money to his employer? First one, he asked, How much do you owe? The man replied, I'm 800 gallons of olive oil. So the manager told him, take the bill, change it to $400. And how much do you owe my employer? He asked the next man I owe him 1000 bushels of wheat was replied the manager said change it 800 bushels. Jesus is speaking this, the rich man, Edward Meyer, the dishonest rascal, we've been so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them the children of light. So here's the lesson. Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you into an eternal home. If you're faithful and little things, you'll be faithful and large ones. But if you're dishonest in little things, won't you be dishonest or on or you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you're untrustworthy, about worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches and heaven? If you're not faithful with another person's things? Why should you be trusted with things of your own? So we've seen some of these teachings before it'll continue doesn't stop. So if you've missed the point, and you think that Jesus is talking about getting money or being shrewd, he says this, No one can serve two masters. For, you will hate one and love the other. He will be devoted to one despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
I'm reading along. That's what it says. Right? Yes. The Pharisees who dearly love their money, heard all this and scuffed it and they said that you like to appear to be righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God. There's a doubling, tripling down. So some of these are from the Sermon on the Mount. There's a comment that the law will not pass away or leave it or lose its force. For example, and just give us an example here, it's kind of seems like a strange placement was in the Sermon on the Mount. A man who divorces his wife and marry someone else commits adultery, and anyone who marries a woman divorce from her husband commits adultery. He's giving the example that it seems like a very weird placement to have it. The point here is it's putting down the Pharisees who say okay, like, yeah, you're not so great. Luke 1619 Jesus said, there was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen, and who lived each day in luxury. at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, who is covered with sores as Lazarus lay their longing from scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open stores source, gross. Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet at the bosom of Abraham is like the phrase they're really using for this. The rich man also died and he's buried and he went to the place of the dead he went to hell. There and torment. He saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side, the rich man shouted Father Abraham, have some pity, send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and call my tongue. I mean anguish in these flames. So just stop and think about this for a second. This guy wouldn't even give this poor guy his scraps. Now, you come serve me, call me off here in hell, right, Hades literally. But Abraham said to him, Son, remember that during your lifetime, you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now, he is being comforted and you are in anguish, and besides, there's a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here and no one cross over. or to us from there. Then the rich man said, Please Father Abraham, at least send them to my father's home for have five brothers. And I want him to warn them, so they don't end up in this place of torment. Now he's considered, But Abraham said, Moses, and the prophets have warned them, your brothers can read what they wrote. The rich man replied, No, father, Abraham, but if somebody said to them from the dead, and they will repent of their sins and turn to God. But Abraham said, if they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead. So he's forecasting what is going to happen, right? He's going to rise from the dead important lesson in there. You had your warning, not going to listen if anything else happens. So the point. So today, we see when we look at this whole section, right? So we had the one you probably knew is the prodigal son, right? You've probably heard some version of that, that story, that parable, but see what's around it. You notice that there's a lot going on there. And so there's a benefit here. Of not interrupting Jesus, you get the point of what he's saying here. So these are familiar parables, but their book ended by teachings about not being attached to worldly things, not placing those worldly things over heavenly things. Right. And so the cost of being the disciple, right, he's not telling you to be mean to your parents or hate your parents. It's not the point. It's hyperbole. You must hate your family. Well, yeah, no, but you must leave everything to follow me say, and to us today, you must be willing to leave everything to follow me. That's the point, right? And then there's the consequence, with the rich man and Lazarus. There was what a penalty if there was a problem for him for not following God's law. Now, yeah, the last sheep, the last coining the prodigal son, that's always very interesting to me just studying that chapter. Because you see some numbers going on there. 100 sheep, go after 110 coins, one, and then one to one, the Father and the Son. So you get this ratio just keeps getting closer and closer. And then the shrewd Manager, which is surprising. A lot of people don't think about that or bother reading that and then taking it into consideration, because you've just heard him give those parables. So the shrewd manager, at least he's been resourceful. But what's the point? How much more should we be with heavenly things? This guy can do that. For this. How much more should we be willing to give? I'll be shrewd with what did the sun do? In light of that? He squandered all the inheritance, they go together, then the rich man and Lazarus, right? The price for disobedience. So when you put it all together, the father will seek you. So you get the sheep or the picture of Jesus. She's going to seek us, right? So yes, he's going to seek us. Yes, the coin going to seek us. But what happened? Prodigal Son, he'll also let you go. He'll let you go if you want to be disobedient. Go ahead. So he seeks us right. Then once he's let us go, what do we need to do? We need to seek Him. Prodigal Son had to come back. And last but not least, if you're not trustworthy, if you're ungrateful, there's going to be a price. So this is what Jesus is saying here. There's so much more enlightening. Now. The point is, he's ready to welcome you back. But be careful about gaming that system. A lot of people will do that they know this right? And so then they go, right? But if you game the system, what happens? We'll look into that. So the manager does what he doesn't have self interest in worldly values. Here Jesus is making the point that in his words, if you are untrustworthy, about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven trustworthy in which we should be much more obedient and trustworthy with God and we shouldn't try to gain his grace if you don't know I'm familiar with the phrase just thought of gaming is great sounds good right what's the point gaming the system gaming any systems when what we manipulated we play with it right? So we might do that normal life play with the system play with our employer game the system. But don't game God, because what happened to the rich man might you might pull it off here you might play with people, but you cannot play with God is not to be trifled with That's Jesus's point here. Careful. So most of the time people look at like one of these parables just a piece, and you miss so much. When you interrupt Jesus, you leave the sermon earlier. And you're, you're coming late. So if we do that, during the last sheet, we get the point, we get that, that God is seeking us. And then that's it sometimes, right? We do whatever we want, right? God's like, literally, we get this picture in our head, like, we're just running like a little child. And God says, Come back, come back, come back, you know, like that all the time. Right? That's, that's it. That's all he's ever going to do is just going to keep doing that. As I go on this wild tear. In the middle, I fall down and stumble. Oh, there he is to pick me up. And that's it. That's what we get. Okay. partially true. But we missed the point that sometimes when we're doing that, he'll let us go. What's the prodigal son about? Okay, well, my inheritance, I'm going to go blow it. Okay. It's up to you. You missed that. Right? So every study only the prodigal son though. That's very common. That's the most popular of all of them. We get the point that God will forgive us and welcome us back. Good point. Yes, he does. But we needed to keep reading. If we game that grace. What happened? Father Abraham, help. I can't, you had your chance. And that's what we get. If we keep reading, there's a progression here. Don't abuse his grace. So that pattern God seeks He forgives. But he condemns, we often leave that part out. That's very dangerous. God has sought us but remember, he'll let us go to our own devices. If that's our choice, he's going to let you do that. Anyone in particular, but that's what he does. And if he does, it's now on us. The sun had to come back was on him. At that point. We need to seek Him we need to go he's going to Welcome back. Welcome back. He's going to forgive us. But if we take advantage of that, that marvelous grace that He has for us, there will be consequences. Are we grateful for God's grace? is something we think about at all? You see, an attitude of gratitude is something that we show through obedience. I know you're just we hate that word. No, it's like that's what you say to our dog. Bay. Obedience. But that's how we show we love him.
Here's the thing. Here's what's going to get really dangerous. Go he's going off the notes. These are Heather gets worried? Oh, no, I'm not on the really good medication, just let you know. And that's part of the problem. Like he's so much better on the drugs, right? So I'm not on a lot of drugs. And that's kind of a part of my problem. Right? Now. My concentration is being kind of pulled at this point. So I know you will you have grace. So let me be really honest. And that's I have this section like, be honest, but don't go crazy. So let's try. If I'm being honest. I see a lot of lip service in church. You guys are pretty good with our crowd here. Because we've developed that culture like the biblical you're used to hearing really hard things, because it can be hard. Like I just read through the Bible people walk out, you know, I understand. It's tough. You guys, we have a culture of that here. I don't hold anything back. But the church we were before more so still today, some people but less. But the church we were a long time ago. It was a lot of lip service. It was a lot of lip service. We talked about that. That hypocrisy and everything. On the way here even talking about some things. And it's like, Ah, how so many Christians misrepresent what Christianity really is. It's horrible. But like, it's just a bunch of lip service. Tozer said at best, like, you know, Christians don't tell lies. They just go to church and sing them. That's pretty good, right? I heard that one. I was like, Oh, no. This is crazy. So you know, I'll throw myself under the bus lot of lip service a lot of for years until finally like, oh, no, I got to come. There's got to match. But I told you guys this before recently. We're told that What is true worship read Romans 12 I get it, you know, oh, that they have the Psalms. Now let's remember that okay, yeah, okay. There shouldn't see any worship is about seeing it right. Keep reading your Bible. He breathing as Paul clarifies that in the New Testament. True worship is being a living sacrifice, right? This is what it's all about. It's about loving even your enemies. That's worship to God, and so on those psalms, because that's what people told me but the Psalms, I Yes, I get it. So all part of the Word of God. But what did God do to that temple? They were singing those songs and he destroyed it. Out of disobedience. That's what it was all about worshipped other gods destroyed it. Isaiah, the prophets, right? What are the same to these people, as a one animals five, I can keep going. Take away from me the noise of your songs. Obedient obedience is better than sacrifice. I don't want to hear it. And it says it in the New Testament as well. That's a bunch of noise. If you're not being obedient, it's lip service. And Jesus even reiterates this quote this. It's just lip service. I see so much of it. It's not about gaming, God's grace. The joke is actually you're playing yourself. Again. Those people who do that are playing themselves, joke's on them. It's not a funny one. Yes, we are saved by God's grace. We should appreciate that. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, that's what it says Ephesians two. But if you keep reading to verse 10, we are created anew in Christ Jesus for good works for obedience. That's how we show that we're grateful for his grace. Note what Jesus teaches. The man's actions had consequences. That's the point. He had Moses and the prophets, we assume he knew. But what happened? Playing around, okay? Again, God's grace, and there were consequences. I'm going to read some hard scripture, but I don't want it to all come from me. It's something to absorb. And then we'll talk about it. Hebrews 1026. This is a New Testament if you don't know. Okay, so it's not like, dear friends, if we deliberately continue sending after we have received knowledge of the truth, there's no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There's only the terrible expectation of God's judgment, and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refuse to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Think about that in light of the rich man. Just think of how much worse the punishment will be, for those who have trampled on the Son of God, have treated the blood of the covenant which made us holy, as it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdain the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, literally, in the Greek, it's spirit of grace, who have been assaulted and to stay in the spirit of grace. Who brings God's mercy to us?
Yep, that's one of those. Now, here's the thing, as a pastor, I see this ...
There will come a time when it's too late, you have no idea what's going to happen to you. Now, please, no one died of a heart attack at that second, just deliver that, let's not do that. I'm not going to say you're going to someone's going to happen to you after church, because if it happens, I'll feel terrible. So but you get it right? You don't know. Your next breath isn't like a given. I see more of this in ministry. And so I'm made constantly aware of this. And that's a crazy thing. So back to the country club Christians, I would do a lot of ministry to them. When I first started out as a pastor and training is a pit. You got to basically the lead pastor gives you all of his visitation. You see it a lot, right? It prepares you and makes you want to quit. It's a good test, because you're like, oh, tired of this. Dying people know, there was much older church. So that's who you're shepherding a much older crowd. Everyone was like, treasure here again. Watch. We have those conversations. He's still alive. Like duct tape, no parts. It was like that, right? But it was it was really tough because you'd see these people in that particular environments even worse, right? So it was really, really bad. Like the Azure is everywhere, white jackets, land flowers. It was just crazy, right? So really, really thick. Because I could see what's going on in the back end of their lives. didn't look anything how you doing? Great. There's like one guy who tells me and I didn't appreciate that for I believe. But I don't find I wouldn't go to their homes. No, it's not. Not at all. It's not just that I would see some of the stuff they were doing. You see the underbelly of everything stuff they're doing live in their lives or they're manipulating. But you get to the point where they realize, oh, like it's too late. Or it's going to be have to try to change immediately. And you know, what usually happens nine times out of 10. Terror, seen it? Terror, I'm going to throw myself right under the bus. Because I might not have been a country club Christian, so to speak. But, you know, I was faking it. When I first started totally faking it, even into the worship ministry quite a bit. When you're trying to be a pastor, it's very hard to fake it. So a lot of them quit. But in the worship ministry is really easy. It's easy to get up here and sing a bunch of lies. I'm not saying they did that. They did great. Their wonderful thing I did meet me, not that I did sung a lot of lies, a lot of lies. And God was calling me into ministry. And he gave me this beautiful blessing of a mini stroke. Such a blessing, best thing that ever happened to me, Tia they call it. So I got that and thought, oh, I might die. Or be stuck like this, which would be worse. But I might die. And I realize I'm like, Okay, so what's going to happen? Right? So you start, at least me, I don't know, everybody, kind of like play the tape on it a little bit more than you were doing when you were living your crazy life. And all of a sudden, you want to kind of play chess with it. Now you want to figure it out. And so in my head, I was like, what's going to happen? I'm like, I'm going to meet the author of life. And I don't even know what my favorite chapters. That's what? terror, terror. Oh, I told my pastor and some desperate attempt. Promise me you'll read me the Bible. So it came out of my mouth? Barely. Why? I don't know. And so that's me. So if you wonder why read the Bible, like all the time. That's my covenant with God, if you get me out of this, that's it. Quit the businesses, and I'm just all in. That's it. Thank you for the stroke. Thank you. Better like, no, here's the thing. You don't all have to become pastors. That was my disobedience. That was my calling is not your calling, necessarily. But what is he calling you to? My advices. Listen, obey. You want to wait till it's too late, like my wisdom tooth. Had to bring the temperature down just a tiny bit. You have time. And remember this. There's joy in the presence of Gods angels, even one Center events. So there's a little thing Paul brings up Roman six. And I just want to bring it up to it's this idea of gaming God's grace. And there are people doing it in the early church. And so he deals with it in Romans six. And he does it quite intentionally. It's very intentional. So if you ever read Romans, if you've been in church for a long time, somebody might have taught on Romans seven, and then said, Oh, you see Paul struggled with sin. That's a good one. But Paul deals with that in chapter six and eight, right around seven. And when you read six and eight and read seven all at the same time, there is absolutely no Paul struggles a lot was in no way. And eight your new life and the Holy Spirit. Six was you're a slave to whatever controls you and we are not slaves of sin, are no longer in bondage to that. What it is in seven, just because what is he doing there? It's called Prosecco PC. So when you know Greek, it's you read it and you go up. There it is. Paul is playing the part of Adam. That's the direct context. Adam in Christ contrasted. So What a miserable man I do. I do what I don't want to do. It's a show. You get that when you can read it. Unfortunately, translations don't give that to you. So anyway, making fun of Adam. The whole thing is about a new life. You're a slave of God, that's a good thing. You're joined to God, you're not joined to sin, your slave of whatever controls you. But we're no longer slaves. It's not us. And that's the thing. Jesus makes his point Luke six for go back. 40 says, Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, but don't do what I say. Whatever controls use your real master. That's the point being made in Romans. Now here's the thing you We're here to help. We're here to help like it's sin is a heavy weight. It's exhausting. I've talked about this they have Hakka, see if it's exhausting, we're here to help we can take those shackles off. Right? It's not us who ultimately does it. For helpers of God, those of us who've been blessed, I've been blessed with the stroke. I have an attitude of gratitude at this point. So I see things very differently. I don't see you as obstacles, although, like after eight weeks, I need a vacation. Right? But I don't see you that way. I see you as opportunities. changes the way I think you're not a burden to me, or regulations. I think last week, Bear one another's burdens, and in this way, fulfill the law of Christ, obey the law of Christ. It's an opportunity. Lord, present me with an opportunity. Someone who was like the person who brought me along, right, who encouraged me, who helped me, give me that they see you differently. So how we do it here, and sometimes people ask me, goes back to the parables, we'll go for full circle, and then I'll stop. Because I have no sense of time at this point. But you're all you're all still alive can see what the lights are going to eat afterwards. Here's the thing, just real quick about the church. Some people have asked me, they're like, Well, why don't you do altar calls? Why don't you do so if you want to get baptized as they tell you every service about how to fill out the connection card, and there's a call to baptism? That's what you want to do. So it's out there, right? But why don't you do altar calls. So we used to do beach services. And we did beach baptisms and stuff. And um, again, I will be real with you. Just totally truthful. I've seen way more false baptisms and altar calls than real ones. Way more, way more what happens? Oh, it's the beach. And sometimes they're drunk. We've we baptize drunk people. They love the beach service, because there's Gumbo Limbo. I mean, go get a few drinks and come out and watch these. I've seen it. Now not saying that happened to church, although it has happened in church, especially this one. But anyway, altogether, they get drummed up by the music and I'm so excited. give my life to Jesus, right cry, never returning back. But here's what I see on Facebook and in the real world. And from what I get reports from people that didn't stick. They're not sold out for Jesus, like literally that night when they're like arguing with their spouse being abusive. That's I see, back there, the backend, way more false baptisms. But notice, what did Jesus said before people followed? And this is why this is why it's false. Because there's like a whole bunch of fine print they never read. They were misled. What did Jesus say? Why shouldn't we say what Jesus said? Right? Like, No, Jesus, I think you got it wrong.
But what does he say? Count the cost? Right? Count the cost, you cannot be my disciple as you hate your pack. So a lot of hyperbole there. But you know, are you willing, if your family disagrees with you? Are you willing to draw the line and say, No, Jesus? If your employer is pressuring you, and whatever, not to go to church, whatever? Are you willing to draw the line and say, No, I'm a Christian, Jesus's first, that's what he's saying. It could be a family, it can be anybody, thinking of any one particular but whatever. Jesus is using the family, you will, you cannot be my disciple. If you're not willing to make me first above everything else in your life. That's what Jesus said. So in the church today, before someone gets baptized, I like to read them that I mean, I can put you in water. You're not going to be baptized. Unless you agree to Jesus's Terms and Conditions. They're there, aren't they? What else? Is there? Deny yourself? Are you going to stop being selfish? realize God's grace fully, and let that change you. So everyone around you is an opportunity? Hey, friend, you look sad. Let me help you out. Is that how you're going to see everyone as if you're looking at the face of Jesus and every other human being even your enemy? But that's what Jesus requires. That's not like a question he's asking. That's okay. No, calculate the cost. This is going to be tough. The Holy Spirit is going to empower you to get this done. But it's called progressive sanctification. It takes a little while to get it right. And even then, we're not Jesus. It's hard. Forgiveness is hard. and easier when you let the Holy Spirit in, which is another key. So that's the thing. When you'll build an infrastructure, it doesn't work. Be like going to the gym once and saying, I'm in shape forever. Yeah. How's that work for you? You can't, we know it doesn't work. You can't go on a diet for one day, and then look awesome forever. If you ruin it, I'm sorry, don't take it out on me, it's not my fault. It's the way things work. If we don't build an infrastructure, and we don't maintain it, it's not going to stick. So like the gym membership, you have to read the fine print, you will be charged too much every month, even if you don't come. If that doesn't work, you got to read that you sign the terms and conditions and then maybe you get a trainer. But if you don't show up trainers, like you're fat, or whatever it is, they're going to be honest with you. Maybe they won't if you're paying them way too much, right? So. But you haven't, that's what church is an infrastructure here. It's very, very intentional. Believe me, I think of things very intentional, like going to try to scare anyone out of getting baptized. But here's the thing. Before you got baptized, you were you might as well have been working for the enemy. So he's not going to bother you. Satan doesn't care. But the minute you go I'm a soldier for Christ. That's it. I'm his. He owns me. I'm not slaved you anymore, Satan on produce. Oh, now he cares. Now he's interested in you. And if you don't have an infrastructure, if you don't have people around you, to help you now, Devil is pretty powerful. Let me tell you, he's going to get you. And so what do we need the armor of God, me to equip ourselves with that. And the church is a central part it is in the Bible, I want you to think about this. Think about like how much of the New Testament are letters where the church? The church, that's who Paul's writing to the church and leaders in the church. The church is a central part of being a Christian. And that is a community it is called the body of Christ. If you're not in the body of Christ, you're not a part of the body of Christ. What does that mean? Not good. You need to be a part of the body of Christ. And here we build each other up, we have an infrastructure, a maintenance program, we help each other. That's the point. And so we don't want to do things carelessly or foolishly like that. So that's all so as I conclude, if you're interested in getting baptized, that's fine. That's great. But here's what's going to happen. I want to have a conversation with you. Right? Isn't it ridiculous thing that you can get baptized in a church and like not ever meet the pastor? Crazy? Doesn't happen here. We're going to sit down maybe like no you upstairs in the cafe while you're trying to eat. But we're going to have a meeting in my office, maybe you're somewhere like, here doesn't matter. Let's just talk because I want to get to know you. What, Where do you think you're going to stumble? Like, what is Satan going to throw at you? When you come out like that and say, I'm all for Jesus. Let's talk about it. Let's work. Let's get under it a little is getting accountability companion a buddy. It's not always me. Okay, this person will be perfect for you. They're going to keep confidence help you work through it. A good trainer. Let's say let's build a family around you. build each other up. So that's the thing. allow us the opportunity to help bear your burdens and in this way, obey the law of Christ. Amen. I pray for you, Lord. Thank you for getting me through that. Thank you for all these gracious people this morning. I love them all. Just fill their hearts with you. Just a desire to be close to you God and just give them the courage to come forward and express their feelings about what they're going through and open up a little bit. Those who need it and those who are serving just keep them strong. And you learn so they can help bear one another's burdens. build each other up. Ask all these things in Jesus's name. Amen.