Matthew 18:1-14

Matthew 18:1-14

My vision of God is a loving, caring Father and Creator Who created us with a specific desire to have love relationship, and Who will do anything to see us brought into that love relationship.One of the things I’ve noticed about children through the years, that you can go up to a child and tell them about the person of Jesus Christ, you can go up to a child and talk to them about God, you can go to a child and share with them about faith and having a simple, caring, loving relationship with the God Who created them in faith, and they believe. You know what? Children grow up to be adults, and it is in that process of growing from a child into adulthood that the world teaches them to not believe. Children are born with a place in their heart where the knowledge of God is written, and as they grow, we can either water that seed of knowledge and help them to grow into strong men and women of God, believing in the Person of Jesus Christ; or, by our lifestyle, by the things that we allow for them to do, by not helping them to understand the things that they do that hurt other people is hurting their relationship with God, we could actually be teaching our children to grow up to not believe…

One of the things I’m telling people all the time, one of the things that I’m trying to do all the time, is watch my life. I tell people, watch your life. You know what? I’m not offended if you tell me you’re a sinner, because guess what? I already know it. If you came to me and told me that you were prefect, that would shock me, and I wouldn’t believe you. But come to me and tell me that you’re a sinner, and guess what? We can work with that. But in your sin, be careful that you are not living in such a way that you’re causing others to live in your sin with you. You need to be careful that you are not setting a scenario where people are looking to you and then living your life because you think your sin is okay. Woe to you. This is what Jesus said. Woe to you! Woe is not a good word! You don’t want woe! “Woe to the man through whom they come…”

Jesus didn’t condemn us because of sin. He came to deal with our issues of sin. But now He’s telling us that we need to take very seriously our issues of sin and try to deal with them, even radically deal with these issues of sin. Not because our sin is what keeps us out of heaven, but our sin can cause others to live in sin as well. People will look at me and think because I’m doing it, it’s okay for them to do it. And so, it’s better for me to watch my life and make sure that, if I do sin, that I let people know immediately, “Guess what? I’ve blown it,” and that I go to those who’ve seen me sin and say, “I have sinned. You do not want to do this. Do not follow that as the example.” But that’s why we’re also told in other places to confess our sin and to get it right, and to go to our brother if we sin against them, because if you let your sin go unchecked, if you try to explain your sin away, if you try to excuse yourself, guess what? God is paying attention. And if you are living a lifestyle of sin, and you refuse to give that over to God, and you refuse to acknowledge it as being sin before God, and other people being to live that lifestyle because of you, the only word I have to say is woe, because Jesus says woe, and you don’t want woe! It’s bad!…

He will go to whatever length He has to, to try to find us and draw us back from it. And He celebrates when He finds even one and brings it back. We need to be careful how we live our life. We need to be careful about how we deal with our sin and the issues of sin that we have. We want to be careful when we encounter God’s people and what we say to them and how we teach them. We want to encourage and build up and let people know that God is love and His desire is to have eternity with us, but guess what? He’s not going to force us to be there with Him. He’s not going to force us to change these issues of sin, and He will, if He has to, let us go and encounter an eternity in a place that we don’t want to be. He’s going to do all He can to stop that, though. He will leave the ninety-nine and search for the one. His desire is to bring each and every one of us to that place of living in eternity with Him, in love relationship with Him. You want to be great in God’s kingdom? Believe in Jesus. Trust in Him. Deal with your issues of sin so that you’re not causing God’s little ones to stumble and fall. Teach the truth about eternity…

My vision of God is a loving, caring Father and Creator Who created us with a specific desire to have love relationship, and Who will do anything to see us brought into that love relationship…

Don’t ever allow for yourself to be fooled into thinking because you have an issue of sin in your life that somehow that means that you have to go to hell now, because if it was sin that causes us to go to hell and perfection that causes us to go to heaven, guess what? None of us would make it to heaven and all of us would go to hell. But we want to be very careful how we allow that sin to affect those that are around us. Keep very short account in your life. If you find yourself sinning, deal with it, confess it, make it right, and don’t ever allow for others to hear you say, “It’s okay for me to do this,” because then they might think it’s okay for them to do it, and then you have woe on you, and you don’t want to be in that place.

Pastor Dave Elkins