Mark 7:21-8:21

Mark 7:21-8:21

Mark 8:21Vintage message from November 26, 2000.

We don’t want to condemn. You know, it is not my place, it is not your place, to condemn anyone in this room, or anyone outside of this room, for the things that they’re doing. It is our place, like it was Jesus’s place, to come and bring a simple message of God’s love and God’s forgiveness, God’s desire to be in love relationship even with the vilest of sinners, and in no way condemn them for the lifestyle they’ve chosen to live…

You and I need to be very careful about how we approach other people with what we think we know. We can walk with God for years and think we know everything and, just like the disciples, be so far wrong that we’re squabbling over what we have or do not have. I, from time to time, find that I have wrong doctrine. It’s not that I purposely go out and try to deceive people, but from time to time it pops up. And I’ve got to be very careful how I approach other people and what they believe, why they believe, and how they believe, because I…am sometimes very thick-skulled, and Jesus gives me warning, and Jesus speaks to my heart, and especially where it concerns Phariseeism, where it concerns hypocrisy, where it concerns religious works, convincing people that I’m a good person because I go to church. “You can trust me, and you can know all about heaven by looking at me, because you know what? I do good things for God.” How many of us still believe that? That the good we do is what God wants to see? How many of us will tell people still, “You want to know how to get to heaven? Do good things! Stop doing bad things!” You and I are more apt to tell people, “Stop doing bad things. If you want to get to heaven, stop doing that bad that you’re doing, and then you can go to heaven.” Well, you know what? That’s not the criteria for going to heaven. That is wrong doctrine. The only criteria for going to heaven is love Jesus with all your heart, receive Him, and let Him deal with the wrong things you’re doing. I’ve not yet been able to stop the wrong things I’m doing, so how dare I tell you to stop doing the wrong things you’re doing? I can tell you those wrong things can stop, because Jesus can deal with them. He can stop them for you through the power of His Spirit, but it’s not by your strength or by your power, by your good works… You can try to convince God of your own righteousness, but God knows you better…

You and I, so often, are just as dense [as the disciples]. We don’t get it. God does miracles for us, in us, through us, and around us, but yet we come to a situation that we don’t understand, and we cry out to God, “Oh, God, why did you let this happen to me?” It’s not a matter of the circumstances you find yourself in. God can deal with those. He’s dealt with them in the past. We just need to know to trust Him, and if we’re trusting Him, He’ll deal with it… Do we not understand? How many of us, this last week, found ourselves in frustrating situations; this last week found ourselves in circumstances that we didn’t understand? Hard things that we didn’t want to trust God for? I still do. I find myself still in situations where I try to work it out myself, rather than stopping and praying and saying, “God, You know all things, and You can handle all things. I need not worry, therefore I won’t.” I find myself wanting to worry, and I find myself wanting to argue and fight against God and what He wants to do. I find myself facing the circumstances and accusing God, rather than trusting God. And He asks, “Do you still not understand?”

Pastor Dave Elkins

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Mark 7:20-30