Matthew 23:27-39

Matthew 23:27-39

We should not find it strange that when we engage the world with the truth that they don't like it; that they may decide to persecute us, but...we've been sent for a purpose: to tell the truth regardless of the cost to us... At least they will hear, coming from our lips, "It's wrong for you to be living the way you are, but...there is a God in heaven Who loves you, and He made a great sacrifice for you. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for you.We are supposed to be the ones today that have the knowledge of how people escape from that condemnation, not offering the condemnation, not being the ones that look at someone and say because of what they’ve just done to me, because they hurt my feelings…, so what? We’re the ones sent to offer them the knowledge of how to escape, not the knowledge that, guess what, buddy? It’s over for you… And even though Jesus had the authority, He does not use that authority in that way, because while He was on this earth and while His Spirit is in us, the goal is to save people, not condemn people; to offer them the knowledge. Through prophecy and wisdom and teaching, we offer people the truth of how to escape…

We should not find it strange that when we engage the world with the truth that they don’t like it, that they may decide to persecute us. But guess what? We’ve been sent for a purpose: to tell the truth regardless of the cost to us. God is watching. He knows… He’s not unaware. In fact, He is very aware of every man, woman, and child that He has sent on the face of this earth to do a work for Him and the outcome of their life. And God loves, God loves these men. God loves those who would persecute us. God loves those who would hurt us. God desires to have relationship with them, but the only way they’re going to know that is if we’re willing to set aside our condemnation of them and our hypocrisy, and step out in the love that Jesus has, the power of God’s Spirit that He has placed within us. Then we engage the world, and it doesn’t matter what they do to us. At least they will hear, coming from our lips, “It’s wrong for you to be living the way you are in the world, but guess what? There is a God in heaven Who loves you, and He made a great sacrifice for you. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for you. He doesn’t want to condemn you. He doesn’t want you to go to hell. I don’t care what you’ve done to me. I don’t care how you’ve hurt my feelings, God doesn’t want you to go to hell.” That’s where we need to be, not jumping to that first thought of anger, “You’ve hurt my feelings, so now you can die and go to hell. I want nothing more to do with you.” It’s not what Jesus was about, but He was about the truth, and He was about getting people’s attention, and sometimes you have to say things that are hard and blunt to get their attention, and remind them of the sin that they’re living in…

Did you just hear Jesus’s heart? He desires to gather us together. He desires to gather those that are in the world together to Himself, as a hen would protect and draw her chicks under her wings, Jesus wants to draw us under His wing of protection. He doesn’t want to send us away. He doesn’t want to push us away. He doesn’t want to condemn us to hell. He doesn’t want us condemning each other to hell. He wants us loving and caring and showing compassion. But there will be a time, there will be a time that He has to step back and let our sin do what our sin does best, and that is, destroy us. Bring our flesh to a point where we can no longer live with ourself, and even if that means leaving us desolate. We can turn to Him any time, even in desolation… He wants to bring us back, but He’s waiting for us to cry out to Him…

We long for the day that Jesus comes because that means He will have raptured us already. It will happen, but we’ve got a job to do. We are the prophets, the wise, the teachers that have been placed in this earth to give a message to a lost and dying world, and that message isn’t, “For $19.95 I’ll talk to the Man upstairs,” but you have a gift offered to you: free gift of salvation, free gift of love, free gift of relationship, offered to you by Jesus, the Son of God. It’s not about what I can offer you. It’s not about what I can do to change your life because guess what? I can do nothing to change your life, but I can give you some wise information. Confess your sin, confess that you are a sinner, turn to God, and let Him deal with it. He doesn’t hate you because of it. He already knows about it. He already knows. You’re not hiding a thing from Him. And you’re not going to feel better about yourself by hiding it from yourself or anybody else, by lying about it. It’s not going to help you. And there’s nothing you can do to work off the consequences of that sin, so don’t think you’re going to come to church and feel better about yourself. Deal with the issues of sin with the One Who can cleanse you from that sin, and guess what? We’ll have a good fellowship together. I can’t change you, but God can change you through the power of His Holy Spirit, through the love of His Son, Jesus Christ. That was the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross.

Pastor Dave Elkins