What Would You Sacrifice for The Sake of The Gospel?
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good morning C3 Church how you guys doing this morning are we awake and ready to go well as you can see I am not Pastor Gene well if you're new here you didn't know that so I am not Pastor Gene I am not the lead Pastor my name is Tony I'm simply a volunteer here Pastor Jean and his family are on a much needed break vacation today so be in prayer for him and his family as I believe they're traveling back tomorrow and that he's able to get some rest and recharge as somebody who was once in the ministry these vacations with your family are important because oftentimes in the ministry your family takes a back seat to our family because right we're his flock and we hold an importance to him let me apologize to our poor camera lady today because I like to move around a lot and she's going to be chasing me most of the day um so like I chase bad guys she's going to chase me across the stage it's kind of funny um be in prayer for me today I am a man who is wifeless at this time she left Thursday and my house looks like the Amazon jungle right now my kids are running around with their shirts on backwards uh they're eating taquitos for survival I have managed to work every day she's been gone and so I am getting my own uniforms ready so you know your wife is important in your life when you go to order pizza and you realize there's an app that she uses and you haven't ordered pizza in five years I'm like I'm texting her I'm like we need pizza I don't know what I'm doing what's the login and she's like do you want me to order for him like yes yes I do so from North Carolina at a Women's Conference she's ordering her husband pizza so she comes back today thank you God because she's needed to be back um so like I said it's a pleasure to be here today we're going to speak on a couple things right we've got some things that have gone on in the State of Florida that we are very much aware of for the last two weeks we have seen the pictures we have seen the videos of mass Devastation we have seen people who have lost their houses who've lost their vehicles their personal items and even some family or friends during after this during and after the storm we have witnessed acts of Mercy Grace compassion and her here uh heroism stories of individuals who traveled from long distances across the State of Florida just because somebody posted on Facebook that they knew a family that was trapped and we saw people travel to rescue these individuals I have a personal story we are it was Thursday um it was I believe it was Wednesday or Thursday when the storm had kind of just passed us but the storm surge was moving into Naples pretty good their water was Rising we weren't even able to get anything west of Airport Boulevard if you know where that's at we weren't able to get anything west of that and so we had airboats driving in and out we had swamp buggies we had people with massive trucks that were rescuing these individuals and here we are we're staged in the parking lot of Home Depot and these trucks are pulling up with people and any items they could get in a pillowcase a suitcase a trash can anything they could get to rescue just a little bit of their memories of their houses and I'll never forget because this one truckload comes up this guy who had a huge truck and a flatbed on it had a huge just a group of people on it just carrying their last items and I'm sitting there next to another deputy and I'll never forget this lady gets to the edge of the truck and we're helping these people down and he looked up and there was a lady who he had arrested multiple times for serious offenses and here she was holding everything she had left in a little bag on top of a truck rain wind and there's no judgment in his eyes whatsoever as he reaches up his hand and helps her come down she says thank you I don't know what I do without you guys and then that was a moment where you think wow they overcame so much of a weird relationship right that's a weird thing to overcome but in the midst of this it's amazing in these situations that we didn't deem to be tragic or important we lay aside all differences and divisions and do amazing feats to help overcome tragedy there's no one that's asking who you voted for sexual orientation if you're pro-choice no there's one goal in mind and it is the physical salvation of individuals let that sink in for physical salvation we lay aside every difference every thought process and we think this is what's important so for that I don't care who you are what race you are what you believe in what religion you go by because you need my help because I deem your circumstances unworthy enough to drop all of those things for physical salvation so what I want to look at today is what the Apostle Paul talks about the differences we should overcome to reach those for Spiritual salvation because oftentimes in the church world we have drawn divisions and lines and differences that we hold against individuals and salvation is secondary spiritual salvation is secondary to some of our personal beliefs our personal religious philosophies and what we deem to be important but yet physical salvation takes such a precedence so let's look at what Paul says here we're going to be in first Corinthians chapter nine and we're going to look at Paul is talking about his rights as apostle he's not doing it to boast but he's doing it to set an example again last time I spoke Paul told us to pattern Our Lives after his and others who followed his example Paul weaves the theme in this chapter basically telling us what he has the ability to do but for the sake of the Gospel he lays those things aside so we're going to be in first Corinthians chapter 9 and we're going to get to where the verses we're going to be so I'm going to give you a brief synopsis because it's very important when Paul sets up here Paul in verse 1 and 2 defends his statute as a as descend defensive status as an apostle Paul defends his status as an apostle a guy who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament has to defend his status not necessary verse 3 6 Paul uses two words that are defense and examine these are Greek legal words I'm not even going to try to pronounce them if I was Pastor Gene I would be able to say them in Greek I am not he is defending himself to us as if he's been already found guilty the Corinthian Christians are questioning Paul some Christians would think how can they question Paul like this how can these Corinthian Christians when we know Corinthians have got some very bad traits that's what this book is about how can they question who Paul is before we begin to cast judgment how many times have we questioned our pastor and what he's doing or the direction the church is going or the message that was spoke on Sunday listen I'm guilty of it too it happens right we begin to have discussions and we question and we think to ourselves well how can these people question Paul but we often too find ourselves questioning our pastor listen this is the thing what they're questioning here is support let's take it a step further Paul is saying here the church should support him as well as if he had a wife and family the church should support him listen we have a pastor who would not say this so I will I'm going to jump up on my soapbox for a minute because I had a call like three or four weeks ago where a pastor was you know having to punch a Time clock and everything like that that is insane to me that is insane what Paul is saying here is what I do you should support me and if I had a family you should support them he's setting the precedent the church should support him and his family if he had one the church that support him in a way that he shouldn't have to work on the side because of what he's supplying to that church so what he's saying here is hey man Church you should be generous enough that your pastor and his family should be able to take care of themselves that should still apply to today now I grew up in a very old school Baptist mentality and there were some people that believe pastors should be bi-vocational that is not the case now Paul did for his own and we're going to get to why he he did have a by vocation that he did on the side but can you imagine if at the time when you needed your pastor the most you have a family member that's sick and in the hospital you yourself are sick there's things going on you want somebody to pray for you I can't quite make it because I I gotta go to work so I'm not going to be able to make it for you that would be insane but sometimes that's the expectation we have without what the reality is so Paul's talking about this Paul gives another example here he as to why he has the right to be supported by those he ministers to listen our pastor will drop everything we he is doing in our time of need and he'll often put his own family on the back burner I was in the ministry for six seven years and during that time you can ask my son what I'm sitting right there or my other son or my little son there was often time that dad was gone and taking care of teenagers that were not even his that's the way it works that's how the ministry works and so Paul's setting this thing to be generous with your pastor and his family to be generous with your pastor and his family to make sure they're well taken care of not just from a financial standpoint but how many times have we walked up and put our arm around the bathroom and like hey man how you doing today everything going okay how many times have we sent him a text where it's not something we need want or him to pray for like hey what can I pray for you for right now what is it you and your family are going through that me and my family can pray for you that's what Paul's talking about he's talking about the support of a church now he gets to verse 15 through 18 and this is where we're going to settle in today because for not having this support his reward is that he has freedom to do what he wants to do and in First Corinthians 9 19 we find out what he wants to do is share the gospel which is exactly what we should be doing and he sets some very good examples of what he's willing to sacrifice to make sure that others hear the gospel what he's willing to lay aside for Spiritual salvation of others what is he willing to do first Corinthians 9 19-20 says sorry 19-23 says this even though I am a free man with no master I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ when I was with the Jews I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ when I was with those who followed the Jewish law I too lived under the law even though I'm not subject to the law I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law when I'm with the Gentiles who do not follow Jewish law I too lived apart from the law so that I can bring them to Christ but I do not ignore the law of God I obey the law of Christ when I am with those who are weak I share in their weakness for I want to bring the weak to Christ yes I try to find common ground with everyone doing everything I can to save some I do everything to spread the good news and share its and share in its blessings look at that what we talk about today in this crisis we do everything we can we drop everything we give donations to make sure that we have people that are taken care of and Paul is saying listen I do everything aside from break the law of Christ which is what he says up there to spread the good news and share in its blessings so Paul gave up a couple things and we're going to talk about that what do we need to know about these verses well the first thing is Paul gave up everything to spread the gospel of Christ but he gives us three specific examples first of all to reach those under the who lived under the law he gives up his freedoms in Christ he subjected himself to the law you didn't need it it wasn't there's no need for the law at this point in time what he's talking about is the levitical system that they used for sin and atonement some of the Traditions the Jews still held on to even after Christ had come died on the cross and most of these were saved Jews or lost Jews that still were like on the borderline and so they still had one foot uh with their Jewish traditions and then another foot with Christianity and Paul to make sure that he was able to reach these individuals to make sure he's able to share the good news of Christ he would walk that line with him he would do things that were unnecessary it didn't add to or take away from he did these things to be able to share the gospel and he gives two great examples in Acts 21 through 26 you don't have to turn there but check on it later after hearing this they praise God listen Paul gives this huge report about this missionary journey he's been on and he comes back and he wants to celebrate now we used to do this back when I was man it's been a long time ago back when I was in church and a teenager uh it seems longer and longer every day we had what we called uh missions week and you would have like Thursday through Sunday and as a kid that was terrible because you were in church Thursday night Friday night Saturday night was good because we had a potluck everybody bought food from around the world and then Sunday you had more church and so but what you had is you had all these missionaries that would come in they would speak they would try to gain support they would give updates and celebrations about what's going on in their Ministry and that's what Paul's doing he's bringing them together and they're cheering after hearing this they praise God they're excited and they said this you know dear brother how many thousands of Jews have also believed and they all followed the law of Moses very seriously but the Jewish Believers here in Jerusalem have been told that you are teaching all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn their back on the laws of Moses again we go from celebration to Uber serious now we've got a problem because yes people came to Christ yes they accepted Jesus but you're telling them not to follow the law of Moses how can you do this Paul so let's get back to what's he say they've heard that you teach them not to circumcise their children or follow other Jewish Customs what should we do they will certainly hear that you have come here's what we want you to do we have four men here who have completed their vow go with them to the temple join them in their purification ceremony paying for them to have their heads ritually shaved then everyone will know that the rumors are all false and that you yourself observe the Jewish laws as for the Gentiles Believers yeah they should do what we already told them to do in the letter they should abstain from eating food offered Idols from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality so Paul went to the temple the next day with the other men they had already started their purification ritual so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and their sacrifices would be offered for each of them here we have a celebration of believers Paul you want all these people to Christ look how many thousands of Jews have come to come have come to Christ but we hear we hear that you're you're teaching them to turn their back on the Jewish customs and so listen these men are going to come these Jews here these Jewish Believers they're going to come they're going to hear this and they're going to be really upset so here's what we need you to do we need you to perform a ceremony a Jewish ritual just to show them that you're still good you're still in with the Jewish crowd Paul you haven't been around the Gentiles too long they haven't worn off too much you're still good can you believe that can you believe that but it goes on today right we have people that come to Christ brand new Believers right they've just now come to Christ there's a celebration yes you found Jesus and then we automatically drop a load of what they should be doing right in their lap like you're a brand new believer here's how you should live your life and we throw it down on them and we expect him to make those changes right away and none of those changes impact that salvation decision none of those changes represent that decision it's not our job to change people that is God's job that is the Lord's job notice that in his in his writings Paul doesn't say listen I I do this that I may win some and then completely tell them how to live their life that's not in there when I listen going through Bible College one of the biggest things I've heard and it's kind of died down because of multiple reasons but one of the biggest things we used to hear is that Christians were the biggest Hypocrites right how many remember those days Christians were the biggest hypocrites yeah we've we lived a life where it was like you saw Christians on Sunday act a certain way come dressed a certain way we used to dress back you know long my mom made me put on a tie and she's watching this now going listen it wasn't that bad she made me put on a tie we had to wear the dress pants the dress shoes uh if I was wearing in church what I was wearing today up here oh my goodness there would be there would be a problem there would be a problem and so we added all these things but Christians were hypocritical because on Sunday they looked apart they sounded the part they sang hymns we did what we're supposed to do and then we lived apart from God the rest of the time so we've got the hypocritical thing going on why because oftentimes what we would do is tell people how they should live their life oftentimes what Christianity was during that time was tell you what you shouldn't do and what you should do how you should live and how you shouldn't live and we lost the practicality of the love of God listen Timothy who is Paul's right-hand man who actually trained him up he has Timothy get circumcised not for the purpose of salvation but so it wouldn't hinder his ministry to the Jews Timothy makes a big sacrifice here acts 16 3 says so Paul wanted him to join them on their Journey so indifference to the Jews of the area he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left for everyone knew that his father was a Greek they knew that Timothy's father was more of a gentile so hey we're going to make sure that in order to make sure that we don't offend any Jews that we're taking the gospel to we're gonna have you get circumcised I would draw the line that's just me we all have our lines that would be mine but Timothy does it you know why because it doesn't add to Salvation and it doesn't take away from it it was Finding commonality it was building a bridge it was sacrificing something so a certain group of people would not be distracted from the message of the Gospel what are we uncomfortable with that we can't get by today that we could lay down in order for the message of the Gospel what are we hanging on to what customs and traditions that we can't get over we can't lay these down no matter what it does no matter how much it affects us delivering the message of the Gospel I can't let go of this Paul is willing to sacrifice his freedoms in Christ and become a slave to Jewish law to make sure that he can win some of the Jews he's willing to go that extra mile so he talks about that he goes on to a second thing Paul talks about those who live not under the law he lives apart from the law now this is not that he just throws everything to win now this is where we've gotten in trouble right the pendulum it makes me laugh because we often talk about this the pendulum never falls in the middle either goes one way or it goes the other so sometimes people read this and they're like I can do whatever I need to do to win others to Christ I can be whatever I want to be and you see that in some pastors today there are some things said from the pulpit and said on TV by men of God that make me cringe that you should not say as a pastor that you should not save from a stage and they're all in defense of winning the gospel no no Paul says Paul clearly states I still live under the law of Christ I still follow the law of Christ so he's not he's anything short of sin the minute you kind of take that step into where I'm going to sin and I'm going to justify my sinning by saying I'm winning those to Christ you're you're now unbiblical you've now stepped over the area you're supposed to so don't take this message today that says I can do what I need to do to win others to Christ I can do whatever it takes even sin no Paul doesn't say that he still lives in the law of Christ now what that looks like is very strange and in the ministry I've seen some things that you'd be unimaginable we could talk about those things that you would think that's a Ministry it was very uncomfortable for me to discuss with them but there was no sin in it and they were reaching people for Christ and I'm like can't find anything wrong with it so those who are not under the law he lives apart from the law think about how this think about how his message has to change right think about how he has to adapt so for Jewish he has these Customs Paul is very biblically trained he's very knowledgeable of the Old Testament so he probably relies on things like Moses and the prophets and David and he sets to Great examples of christophanes which is just a representation of Christ in the Old Testament think about it he can go to Melchizedek who's one of my favorite Old Testament characters that Pastor Gene often speaks of a priest greater than all priests but not greater than Christ represents Christ he can go to Melchizedek and point to him and say listen just like Abraham offered Melchizedek 10 of everything we too must been the need for Christ and offer our life to him and so the thing about it is Paul has to change and look how he changes go to acts 17 22-24 because I want you to see this I want you to see the difference so Paul standing before the council addressed them as follows men of Athens he's no longer amongst the Jews he's amongst the Gentiles I noticed that you are very religious in every way for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines I saw your many idols and one of your altars had this inscription on it to the unknown God this God whom you worship without knowing is the one I'm telling you about he is the god who made the world and everything in it since he is the Lord of Heaven and Earth he doesn't live in man-made temples Paul steps onto steps into a place where they just have idols and shrines many idols and shrines and he finds one that's to the unknown God and he begins to relate the message of Christ to that now let me put that in perspective how today would we handle that would we walk in and be like hey I've got a message for you but here's the deal in order accept Christ all these shrines they gotta go they gotta go you can't have this and worship Christ notice Paul doesn't do that notice Paul doesn't begin with what they did wrong how you're worshiping other gods he doesn't start with that he starts with the message of the Gospel so he lays aside his very very standard important belief he lays all that aside for the message of the Gospel I have a feeling there are some things that we would not lay aside Ministry is messy that's what I've got told when I first joined the ministry Ministry is messy because it involves people and we're messy I'm a messy person like listen I can stand up here and I can speak to you you can like come to my house I'm a normal person uh I my house like if my wife's not there right now you would not be allowed in my wife would not let you in the house uh there's still pizza boxes on the oven sorry babe those are still there from yesterday I took the pizza out of them though it's in the fridge but there are places where you can walk and you can sit in and it's just you're like oh man I need to make sure these people understand what they're doing wrong I want to share the gospel but I've also got to make sure they understand they've got to change this we had an interesting situation when I was student pastor we had a young lady walk in and her mom walked in she was obviously a young lady and her mom walked in and her mom's like hey do you run this place and I'm like no no I don't no because it was crazy we had 200 students everybody was a great time but she asked you run this place they said yes ma'am how can I help you and she's like okay well can you come talk to me sure sure what's going on and she said well that's my daughter her name's Jacqueline but she likes to be called Jack because she thinks that she's a boy she's just talking about transitioning to be a boy and so she gets very uncomfortable when you address her she or Jacqueline or her she wants to be known as a boy and she's being bullied in school and she's depressed and I have nowhere else to go and I heard about the student Ministry and I just want her to try it I just want her to hear something that uplifts and encourages her this is where she I have nowhere else to go this is it we've tried School counseling it's not working we've tried psychiatrists it's not working this is this is it we got to try something and I said yes ma'am we'll do our best here's the deal I'd never faced that situation before I was a student pastor and I was raised Baptist there was no question about these things you knew what those things were because according to the way I grew up this book tells you exactly how you should live which it does and you should not stray from it and anything apart from this book is completely wrong and sinful and so hey so I was raised very much legalistic and so I didn't know what to do and I said under after she left after her mom left and and Jacqueline decided to stay I said oh okay God I have no idea I don't know what you want me to do here I was like I I don't know what to do I have no idea and so I went to my leaders my student leaders my group of my group of teenagers and I was like all right guys here's the deal I'm an old man set in his ways I was like but this person obviously needs the gospel this person needs hope this person needs Joy they need Christ so how do we make that happen and we sat there you know what we accepted Jack for who she was at the time she didn't know Christ what was my expectations of her supposed to be was she supposed to walk in knowing the right way of living without knowing Christ was I immediately supposed to pass judgment tell her you're wrong this is wrong let me show you from the Bible the right way how would she know what the Bible says or understand it the Bible says according to carnal man they can't understand the things of God so the first thing we had to do was share the message of Christ and the love of God you know what fortunately she continued to come back she continued to come back and her mom continued to talk to me every Wednesday and give me updates about how she was doing in school and she said this is the only place she wants to come everywhere else she wants to go home from school she wants to stay home she doesn't go with me anywhere this is the only place she wants to come eventually Jack started to become known as Jacqueline again Christ changed her not me had nothing to do with it had nothing to do with that she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior several months in so for several months she was Jack and I didn't mind doing it because I knew God would change her I didn't have to but I had to let go of that uncomfortableness in order to show her the love of Christ because how can we preach love and salvation and not demonstrate it we do it so well these past two weeks we demonstrate love for people we don't even know we're willing to House people we don't know we're willing to give people money we don't know we're willing to give people transportation we don't know we're willing to do all these things for somebody's physical well-being and sometimes for somebody's spiritual well-being we get to a line and we're like ah I don't know about this what am I supposed to do Paul tells us we give those scenes up so he gives us one more he says Paul talks about those who are weaker in faith you only have to look one chapter back for Paul to give us a great lesson on this one eating the meat of Idols Paul tells us you gain Nothing by not eating it nor do you lose anything by eating it but he talks about how this could impact weaker Christians and how this should impact us so what we're talking about here is back then they used to sacrifice me to Idol so what happened is they would bring whatever meat they would be and it would go into the temple and they would boil it down and uh the good parts the fat would go to whatever Idol they were going to and then they'll be left with this meat and it would get sold again in the market right they would sell this meat and that's how a lot of temples would make money and that's what they would do and so Christians Jewish Christians would say we're not eating the meat of Idols because that got sacrificed to an idol I'm better than that so if you really believe in Christ you're not going to eat the meat of the idols and so Paul's like listen we're not doing that doesn't matter whether you eat it or you don't eat it it has nothing to do it doesn't add or take away from salvation so First Corinthians 8 9-19 says this but you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble for if others see you with your Superior knowledge notice it's in quotation marks eating in the temple of an idol won't they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol so because of your Superior knowledge a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed and when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they don't that they believe is wrong you are sinning against Christ so if what I eat causes another believer to sin I will never eat meat again as long as I live for I don't want to cause other believers to stumble Paul goes from being a slave to Jewish law to being a slave to weaker Christians weaker Believers weaker non-believers things that we can let go of I'll give you a great example uh in my life and listen it's controversial all right so we could talk about it later I I'm I'm just waiting for the final phrase when I finally say something that Pastor Gene's like all right Tony no more you can't speak anymore it's like the fourth time up here and every time I kind of push the envelope like is he gonna say something now um am I getting a text message right now as we speak is my phone going off that's why it's over there because let me all right I'm going to digress I get off a lot of rabbit Trails if you don't see I have ADHD like crazy the first time we gave cell phones to pastors I had one it was the Nokia brick phone and it's what we used to use to keep time only back then my fellow classmates in Bible College thought it was great to call you while you're up on and one time I had my phone like on the pulpit it was an old school pulpit and it just vibrated right off they called it until it's like me and I was like oh well that's embarrassing and distracting all at the same time so here's the thing like this is the deal right we we oftentimes we look at this so I personally don't see anything wrong with having a sip of alcohol drink here and there I that's my personal beliefs all right I don't see anything unbiblical about it I see that there's excess we shouldn't go to excess being drunk with wine things like that but as a student Pastor I never took a sip of alcohol in front of my students never because they aren't legally allowed to why would I want to encourage my students to do something that they can't do so even when we went over to Pastor's houses who had students in my student Ministry and they were drinking be like you don't want to drink nope what you don't drink oh that's not what I'm saying just saying I don't want to encourage my students who can't drink to drink and break the law that's what I'm trying to do so I listen that was just the rule we had now I'll tell you a very funny story we were pastors and I was a pastor in Tampa my wife ran the children's ministry we live by this rule we did not drink in front of our students we went to a event one Halloween up in Orlando which is two and a half hours away from Tampa we're at an event with thousands of people so I look around I'm like all right I order a drink my wife orders a drink I'm sitting here and out of the crowd of thousands of people I hear Pastor Tony Pastor Tony I'm like hold this and so Crystal's sitting there holding two drinks I'm like she's got a problem all right so so it was hilarious at the time right because I just was like so okay she's sitting there holding two drinks and I'm talking to a student and I'm like oh man that was terrible so but that's the thing right what are we willing to sacrifice for those around us those that may be struggling with something language is a big deal lately it's it's a huge thing because cultural cultural lines are changing and language is different than it used to be and some of the stuff that you would never catch me saying to anywhere is now acceptable but do we have people struggling with that that we should watch what we have to say we should watch our mouths what about politics we have people that struggle with politics and yet we try to that's that's our thing that's our Niche so I'm going to sit there and I'm going to hold to this recently the pro-choice not pro-choice debate is that is that one of the things that we're gonna discuss with somebody is that is that where like hey I draw the line right here what are we willing to look past for the sake of the Gospel listen I'm going to touch on one that's going to be very controversial my mom's watching so she's going to get mad at me so here's the deal let me pick a fight Halloween Halloween is coming up August October 31st right it is the it is the uh what is it the the it's the celebration of demonic activities it is it is a celebration of demons and we should not be a part of it we should shut our doors and the world should do its own thing and we should not even be a part of it because we are better than that we should abstain I have a different take on that is the church supposed to shut down in times like that think about all the little kids who have no choice because it's what they grow up believing it's what they do it's their parents dressing them up their parents get excited about Halloween do you know how many houses that I saw decorated last night for Halloween even in the middle of a hurricane there's a ton of houses decorated for Halloween I'm sure it's not their little five-year-old that's decorating so here's the deal I'm not saying we have to endorse it I'm not saying we have to say Halloween's the greatest holiday ever I'm not saying we have to dress up like demons but I am saying uh we can't open up our doors and show love to those during that holiday you have an opportunity little kids are coming to you teenagers are coming to you you have an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ you have an opportunity to make an impact in somebody's life yet we will sit there and be like hey because because of what it represents I'm slamming the door on this do you realize Paul walked into a place full of idols those who be demonic Idols they represent anti-god and didn't shut the door and go I can't go on this island I can't go down this way because it's got all kinds of Idols I've got to stay away from this place no he brings the message of Christ because it represents the hope they need to be relinquished from worshiping idols that's what the message of Christ does it frees people from sin they're in sin it frees them from it so what do we need to do listen in all that we do we should share the message of Christ free from our personal conviction stances or standards First Corinthians 10 31 through First Corinthians 11 1 which by the way some Bibles have this as First Corinthians 10 31-34 and actually begins chapter 11 on verse 2 but that's just a side note so First Corinthians 10 31 through First Corinthians 11 1 says this and and this is verse of the day like you're going to see this a lot so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do do all to the glory of God boom that's first of the Day stuff that's Instagram material that's right there you put it on a mug you have like hot coffee with a little steam on it you have your Bible next to it you're like bam this is me and my godliness right here Oh you mean wait there's more there's more to that verse oh it says don't give a fence to Jews or Gentiles or the Church of God I try to please everyone in everything I do I don't just do what is best for me I do what is best for others so that many may be saved and you should imitate me just as I imitate Christ so listen it does it starts out great so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do do all to the glory of God but it doesn't finish there it says don't give a fence to Jews or Gentiles or the Church of God the only offense Paul wanted people to have is the gospel and here's the deal the gospel will be offensive to some notice he doesn't say that I can win all his verbs his way he describes it is that I may win some or many it's never all wanted the only offense that he ever had was the Gospel we need to begin to question why we believe in what we believe is it based on cultural is it based on childhood training religious ingraining or just what we like or don't like what are we holding on to that's keeping us from sharing the gospel what are we willing to not do because we need to begin to work on those things it is uncomfortable to invite somebody to church right why because you invite somebody to church and they like you go to church freely because the Judgment Falls right like everybody looks at you you're like man if I invite them to church they're gonna they're going to think some crazy things about me they're gonna they're they're not gonna understand who I am or they're gonna judge me they're gonna be like wait you go to church and you still like live like this you still sin we have to get past that uncomfortableness because we have to understand that yes a storm just happened and a lot of people lost everything but it's nothing compared to what you will lose if you die without Christ it's eternity that we are talking about it's not drywall it's not Furniture it's not pictures it's not vehicles we are talking about eternity what is stopping us from sharing the message of Christ what line have we drawn that we won't step over listen here's the thing in the past three weeks four weeks actually we've had four vehicles stolen out of East Naples don't worry we recovered them we had four vehicles stolen and they were stolen by the first one was a 15 year old the second one can't make this up 14 and the newest one 13. I have sons that are older than the gentleman that we arrested why we've got to look at ourselves as Christians in a church and saying what line have we put down that are we not willing to cross because we're losing a generation we have people our biggest offenders in the Naples area are teenagers 18 and below and some of you guys know that some of you guys work in some areas of Naples that you understand that what are we doing as Christians and what are we doing as a church to reach these these young individuals is there certain lines that we get to and when we get to it we won't cross it do they look a certain way and so we're like ah I can't do that that's uncomfortable for me do they act a certain way do they speak a certain way and it's just off-putting and so you're like hey you know what you need you need discipline in your life that's what everybody goes to and I don't disagree with discipline ask my kids but it's not what we lead with first of all they need the love of Christ which we are to demonstrate we are not you are nobody you are not going to be able to change somebody as much as you want to if you are a parent in this room you know this right your kids you're like I I have taught you everything listen you as a you as a parent you one day you sit there and you've taught this person everything and you're like yes I have given you all of my knowledge go and live a fruitful life and then they make the dumbest decisions and you're like what are you doing man I didn't teach you to do that maybe I did maybe but I don't remember it listen that's the way it works why do we do all this why why should we give up these standards and stuff well to be more christ-like you say excuse me yeah Christ touches on this subject himself I always love to end with Christ because there's nobody else to end with it all starts and ends with Christ and so let's go to Matthew 9 10-12. and Christ himself lays down a great message here for us to adapt today he says later Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests along with many tax collectors and other disreputable Sinners that is a great verb or adjective right there you are a disreputable sinner my friend can you imagine telling somebody that a user or a disrupt it sounds like something they used to say in the 50s I don't know I'm not I'm not there uh so but when the Pharisees saw this they asked the disciples why does your teacher eat with such scum and Jesus overheard him and he said healthy people don't need a doctor sick people do then he added now go and learn from the meaning of this scripture I want you to show Mercy not offer sacrifices for I have come to call not those who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners Christ himself says uh healthy people don't need doctors sick people do I'm going to wrap up because have you ever been around sick people it is not pretty I'm going to win father of the year with this example one day I had to stay home with my youngest son Bryce Chris had to go to work Bryce was sick I have a problem if you throw up I will throw up with you that's the bottom line that's who I am it just happens I can't help it I run from somebody vomiting in half and says I'm like it even happens now on the road I see somebody so I'm like oh yeah EMS you got this I'm out of here um it's terrible so I had to stay home with my very sick son and we're downstairs and I we have these hardwood floors and he's like he looks at me and he has this look on his face they're like are you all right son he's like I don't I don't feel and he starts throwing up and I'm like I'm falling backwards I'm like are you stay there stay there and he's keeping he's like Dad as he's walking towards me and I'm like huh I was like I'm like no no stay there and he keeps walking towards me as he's throwing up this purple liquid I don't even know what he had that was purple I don't know but he's thrown up and I am falling down on the ground like crawling back like a scary movie as if I've seen a ghost and I'm trying to get to the I'm like I don't I don't know what to do he's not gonna stop throwing up and I'm like oh and he's and he's throwing up and I'm about to start throwing up I'm like please just stop and finally he just sits down in the middle of the throw by the way and I am home alone do you know I picked up the phone and I'm like babe I was like I'm like I can't handle this I don't know what to do I was like he's throwing up everywhere so like I picked him up out of his throw up very uh and I got him to the tub and then I put them in the tub and I ran water and I got them all cleaned up and I laid them down and he went to sleep and then I had to tackle the problem of the throw up that was all over the hardwood floor and I it was just hours of me being the biggest baby in the world like I don't know why I stayed at home today I'm like is that's that's sick people man that's my son and I didn't want to be there I was begging for my wife to come home if you can take some tick time please come home that's what it's like to be around sick people they're messy and listen some of us are germaphobes if you have ever been to lunch hopefully Pastor Gene's not watching have you ever been to lunch with Pastor Gene like that man has more hand sanitizer and wives than I've ever seen like I've dealt with people that like are you know on the verge of dying and I don't put as much hand sanitizer on my hands as that man does like before he eats after he eats when he touches silverware he's gonna be so funny the next time you see him everybody should just buy him a little bottle of hand sanitizer like we love you Pastor Gene here's some hand sanitizer you know that's the thing is it's hard to be around sick people for some of us it's overcoming a natural thing that we are like we we it's hard I'll tell you when it's not hard though right have you ever been to a Cancer Ward for for kids I have you walk in there and you want to do nothing but put your arms around those little kids that have tubes in them that have no hair that look frail and discolored and you want to put your arms around them you just want to hug them and you want to let them know it's going to be okay that's how we should feel about the Lost we should walk in to the world that we live in and look at people and see them as Christ sees them they're not healthy and the only thing the only cure for what they have the only way they can ever be truly healed and truly healthy is to receive Christ and Christ himself tells us that's what you're supposed to do demonstrate my love I don't care about your sacrifices I don't care about the time you spend in church what I care about is the Sinners that need somebody to tell them about me are we willing to pass some lines today when we leave are we willing to get in the car and have a conversation about what we are holding on to that keeps us from delivering the message of Christ because here's the deal we are in a church that will give you the opportunity we have several things that are going on that you can be a part of where you can help reach this community and I I can tell you that there are things coming up that we're going to do even further to reach the community Pastor Gene talked about it last week the schools reached out to us and said stop sending backpacks we need like feminine hygiene product we need socks we need we need this we need that that's what we're about here we're about eliminating the divisions and the distractions from the message of the Gospel so I hope today that when we walk out of here we begin to think that like that let's pray dear God first of all I want to thank you for allowing us to be here today God I want to thank you for allow us to come into your house uh God I hope today that the message uh was exactly what you wanted and that they were your words and not mine God God I want to lift up those that are still suffering from the side effects of this storm that just came through there are many that are without power without places to live without a place to lay their head God I'd ask that you have mercy and compassion on them have Grace on them God begin to help them rebuild their lives help us to be what you would have us to be to help those individuals but God I would ask that today as we leave this that we take the same kind of passion that we have about helping those that lost everything and we apply that that same passion to helping reach others for Christ God we ask all these Saints for your name honor and glory amen