Our Terrifying Yet Gracious God

Our Terrifying Yet Gracious God: 2 Kings #28

Our Terrifying Yet Gracious God is an exposition of 2 Kings 23:31-25:30. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, February 19, 2017.

Intro:

The nation had been through so much.  While there were moments of greatness the nation, for the most part, had been on a downward projection from the start.  There were kings who showed some promise yet most did not do what was right in the eyes of God.  The Northern Kingdom, after repeated warning, was now gone.  Judah was on her deathbed.  Hezekiah had been a breath of fresh air.  A good king who did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, perhaps there was still hope.  He was followed by the most corrupt king the nation had ever known.  Manasseh reigned for 55 years!  His son Ammon was just as bad but mercifully only reigned two years.  Josiah came to the throne restored righteousness and brought sweeping reform in accordance with the Law of God recently recovered.  But it was too little, too late.  Josiah’s story is a troubling story because it demonstrates even genuine repentance and faithful obedience may not detour God’s fiery judgment.  This evening was come to witness the end of Judah.  Our text is 2 Kings 23:31 through the end of 2 Kings 25.

Text: 2 Kings 23:31-25:30

931 BC – 586 BC, 345 years.  Not long as far as nations are concerned.  It was a turbulent 3 centuries.  The one constant throughout was the presence of a gracious God.  A patient, long suffering Sovereign dealing with a stubborn rebellious people.  We often think the God of the Old Testament as a stern disciplinarian while the God of the New Testament is loving and gracious.  If you’ve gain nothing else from this study of 2 Kings I hope that you’ve seen the grace and compassion of our God.  Now we come to the end.  Have you ever had to remove a bandaid and you found yourself wavering on whether to take it off slow and easy or just give it a yank?  If you pull it off slow it’s just going to prolong the agony.  If you yank it, it will hurt but it will be over quickly.  The writer of 2 Kings is a “yanker.”  He deals with 4 kings and 22 years of history in this passage.  There is a lot going on here, international politics, wars, alliance yet he tells the story rapidly with only the necessary details.  It is as if the writers says, “Take a deep breath…this is going to hurt but it will be over soon.”

We have the story of king Jehoahaz, 23:31-35 – reigned 3 months in 609.

  • We have the story of king Jehoiakin, 23:36-24:7 – reigned 11 years 609-598.
  • We have the story of king Jehoiachin, 24:8-17 – reigned 3 months in 597.
  • We have the story of king Zedekiah, 24:18-25:21 – reigned 11 years 597-587.

The interesting thing is each king ends as a prisoner in either Egypt or Babylon in which they had trusted rather that to trust in God.

As we consider the end of Judah I want to do more than just give a history lesson.  There is more here than names and dates.  We need to draw out some principles that apply to all nations and peoples.  There is something here for us.

As we work our way through these last chapters we are going to see that…

Thesis: The long anticipated end of the nation of Judah brings us face to face with our terrifying yet gracious God.

Scripture is the revelation of God.  It tells us about the God we serve.  It reveals to us the character of the One before whom we will one day stand and give an account.  We see again that He is both terrifying and gracious.  He is holy yet loving.

There are three things I want to note from our text.

  1. A dying culture is marked by spiritual deadness and corrupt leadership.  (23:31-32, 36-37; 24:8-9, 18-19)
  2. Such a culture is inevitably headed towards a certain and terrifying judgment.  (24:1-4, 13, 20)
  3. Such a judgment leads to a despairing sadness.  (24:8-16; 25:8-17)

Conclusion:

Then there is that whisper of hope – 25:27-30.

There is this bleak end to the story and then he records an episode that takes place 26 years later.

He puts your focus back on the line of David.

Turn from the ruins of judgment and remember…

No Babylonian king or apostate leader from Judah can invalidate God’s promise.  It is not your righteousness but the stubbornness of our God that brings redemption. 

Thus, The long anticipated end of the nation of Judah brings us face to face with our terrifying yet gracious God.

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Winning the War Over Worry

Winning the War Over Worry: 2016 Gospel of Luke #48

Winning the War Over Worry is an exposition of Luke 12:22-34. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 19, 2017.

Intro:

Are you the type that stays strong in the midst of a crisis?  One of those who is a rock for others to lean on?  Are you the one with the cool head when everyone around you is losing theirs?  Me?  I’m a rock all right.  A regular rock of jello!  I’m one of those who figures, “If you think the worst, most things will turn out better than you ever dreamed.”  Now on the outside I can appear calm, cool and collected.  But on the inside, everything has turned to water!  I have the uncanny ability to move myself from quiet tranquility to sheer panic in a matter of seconds.  Can you identify with that?

Do you ever worry?  “Worriers feel every blow that never falls.  And they cry over things they will never lose.”  Worry, anxiety and stress are leading causes of stomach disorders, heart problems, headaches and a number of other health concerns.  We all have a tendency to worry.  I know folks who worry when they are not worried because “it’s just not like them not to worry!”  These are the folks who by Pepto-Bismol in that new handy 12 pack and Rolaids in the gallon jug.  But is that anyway for the child of God to live?

Jesus was in the middle of a sermon one day when a young man interrupted Him.  “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”  That resulted in a message on the danger of greed.  Jesus warned those present to “Watch out, be on their guard” for all kinds of greed.  The reason?  “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Then He turned to those in the crowd who may have been on the other end of the spectrum, those who had little or nothing.  That is the focus of our text this morning in Luke 12:22-34.

Text: Luke 12:22-34

Luke’s purpose was to lead his friend to faith in Christ.

Luke wanted his friend to know Jesus was worth trusting.

That Jesus was who He said He was, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

By this time in the life and ministry of Jesus animosity is reaching a fevered pitch.

Jesus is preparing His disciples for what is ahead of them.

The overall meaning is fairly clear:

Thesis: God intends for His people to live above fear and discouragement.

The apostle Paul told Timothy, who apparently battled worry on a regular basis, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love and a sound mind.”  That is good.  I appreciate that.  I’m grateful for that.  But how do I experience it?  Great, the “good news” of the Gospel includes the fact that the war over worry is winnable – but what is the battle plan?  What is the secret?

In our text we find 3 secrets to a settled mind. 

  1. If you are going to win the war over worry, you must learn to rest securely in God’s gracious, providential care.  (12:22-30)
  2. If you are going to win the war over worry, you must learn to seek the will of God above all else.  (12:31-32)
  3. If you are going to win the war over worry, you must learn to invest your life and possessions in things that will last for eternity.  (12:33-34)

Conclusion:

God intends for you to live above fear and discouragement.  How is that accomplished?

  • learn to rest securely in God’s gracious, providential care.
  • learn to seek the will of God above all else.
  • learn to invest your life and possessions in things that will last for eternity.
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Let’s Go to Church!

Let’s Go to Church: Selected Psalms

The PsalmsLet’s Go to Church is an exposition of Psalm 122. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, February 15, 2017.

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The Comforting and Troubling Truth About God

The Comforting and Troubling Truth About God: 2 Kings #27

Exposition of the book of 2 KingsThe Comforting and Troubling Truth About God is an exposition of 2 Kings 22:1-23:30. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, February 12, 2017.

Intro:

Everyone is a theologian.  The word “theology” simply means a word about God.  Everyone says things about God.  Everyone has some notion about God or has drawn some conclusion about God’s nature.  We are all theologians.  We have a theology and that theology impacts how we act, think and live.  All of that to say, “Your theology matters.”  At the heart of everyone’s theology is their doctrine of God.  Who is God?  What is He like?  What does He require?  It is critical that we have a biblical understanding of God.  Biblically, the doctrine of God is complicated in that He is infinite and we are finite.  He is without limit while we are very limited.  You will never fully comprehend the nature of God now or in eternity!  But there are things we can truly know about God.  Things revealed to us in Scripture.  What we know is both comforting and troubling.  That’s what we are reminded of in our text this evening.

Text: 2 Kings 22:1-23:30

God is holy, righteous and wrathful.  He is a consuming fire.  Yet He is loving, merciful and full of grace.  He cannot tolerate sin yet He lovingly chose to save sinners.  He comes in terrifying judgment yet gives grace to the humble.  A biblical doctrine of God is, in some respects simple, yet not simplistic.  It is straightforward and propositional yet nuanced and not cliched.  While the truth is black and white it is not cut and dried and easily stacked away.  It is not my intention tonight to lay out for you a thorough biblical doctrine of God but rather to note some significant truths reflected in this passage.

As we work through these two chapters we will note that…

Thesis: The story of Judah’s king Josiah is both comforting and troubling as it demonstrates God’s mercy, His severity and the absolute certainty of His Word.

  1. First, we see the mercy of God in the midst of judgment.  (22:1-20)
  2. We note the severity of God despite heart-felt repentance and genuine obedience.  (23:1-27)
  3. Finally, note the absolute certainty of God’s Word.  (23:15-20)

Conclusion of The Comforting and Troubling Truth About God:

I said this truth is both comforting and troubling.  It is comforting when considering a word or promise of blessing.  It is troubling when considering the word of judgment.  One is just as certain as the other.

A biblical doctrine of God just will not allow you to get too comfortable when you take into account God’s mercy, His severity and the absolute certainty of His Word.

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Stuffism or the Folly of Materialism

Stuffism or the Folly of Materialism: 2016 Gospel of Luke #47

This is an exposition of Luke 12:13-21. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 12, 2017.

Intro:

You do know don’t you, that we are a spoiled bunch?  We in America possess most of the world’s wealth.  When it comes to per capita income we are by far the “richest nation on earth.”  Yet most of us are far from satisfied.  We are driven in an endless pursuit of stuff.  We have more than we could ever use.  Yet we can always justify more.  Do you know what one of the fastest growing industries in the United States is?  Storage facilities.  That’s a facility were you rent space to store the stuff you don’t have room to store at home.  When you are looking for a new home what do you look for?  Closet space.  Why?  You’ve got to have room for your stuff.  We’ve got two large walk-in closets, two hall closets and a long closet in the playroom.  They are stuffed with stuff.  We have a garage full; a shed in the backyard, full and the attic is more than full.  We’ve got boxes in the attic that we’ve not opened since 1980.  Now in that time we’ve moved from Tulsa to Shawnee, to Fort Worth, to Pawnee, to Ponca City and back to Tulsa.  Each time we moved those boxes.  We still haven’t opened them but we had to take them with us because they have our stuff in them!

Materialism is a problem in the American culture.  One financial expert has said that our financial woes are due, in large part, to the fact our neighbors keep buying things we can’t afford.  Advertising is big business.  One cynic has suggested that, “Advertising is the art of getting people to buy what they don’t need by describing it in ways they know are not true.”  We see and advertisement and think, “Oh, I’ve got to have one of those.”  It is a universal problem and those of us in the church are certainly not immune.

The sad reality is that multitudes are seeking meaning and fulfillment in the “things” they possess.  If they can just get that house, then they would be happy.  “If I had that car.”  “If I just had this much in the bank.”  Their days are spent in the endless pursuit of a dream only to learn it was a nightmare.  How many have sacrificed their families, their health, and their souls in the pursuit of things only to learn it was all an illusion?  R.G. Lee said in his masterful sermon, Payday Someday, “The Devil always pays with counterfeit bills.”

But being consumed with the material is nothing new.  Man has always struggled with a desire to have.  It’s as old as life in the Garden.  Covetousness and greed have poisoned the souls of men throughout the ages.  In fact it was a desire to possess that drove a man to interrupt the Lord Jesus in the midst of a sermon.  We read about it in the 12th chapter of Luke’s Gospel.

Text: Luke 12:13-21

The purpose and background of Luke’s Gospel.
The immediate context of 12:13-21
    Jesus was teaching about authentic faith.
The need to focus on central issues – transparent honest, reverential fear of God, God’s providential care and the Spirit’s enabling.

Someone in the crowd had an issue they wanted settled.  So when there was a pause in the message, he interrupted . . .

Jesus is discussing core issues.  This is the essence of life and this man is interested only in himself.  He cannot look beyond his own wants and desires to hear what Jesus has to say.  His attitude seems to be “that’s all well and good but I’ve got a real problem here.”  He is so consumed with greed he is incapable of hearing what the Lord Jesus is saying.  Our Lord knew this man’s heart.  He saw past his complaint to the driving motive of his heart.  Thus Jesus’ answer is rather curt.  And He took the opportunity to teach us a valuable lesson about life.

Thesis: The wise man seeks meaning and fulfillment along the God-ordained path.

Somewhere along the way we’ve gotten a little to smart for our own good.  We got the idea that we know what’s best for us.  We know what will make us happy.  It just isn’t so.  Our maker knows better than we do.  He knows what best fulfills us.  He knows what we were created for!

There are two things I want us to note in our text this morning.

  1. The fool expects to find meaning and fulfillment in the accumulation of things.  (12:13-20)
  2. The wise man knows true meaning and fulfillment are not found in things but in a person.  (12:21)

You can have an abundance of things and yet have nothing.
You can have nothing and yet have everything.

This is the issue: Are you in relationship with the God who is through the person of His son the Lord Jesus?

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The Traveler’s Psalm

The Traveler’s Psalm: Selected Psalms

The PsalmsThis is an exposition of Psalm 121. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, February 08, 2017.

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Marks of Genuine Christianity

Marks of Genuine Christianity: 2016 Gospel of Luke #46

This is an exposition of Luke 12:1-12. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 5, 2017.

Intro:

I was shocked.  I was outraged.  I couldn’t believe it.  No.  No.  Tell me it isn’t so.  I was sick at my stomach.  Devastated.  I had just learned that professional wrestling was not real.  “You mean to tell me Scandar Akbar is not the real deal?  The Masked Assassins are an act?  I suppose next your going to tell me Roller Derby is rigged!”  It was a shock to my young system to learn that all was not as it appeared to be.  I watched wrestling every Saturday.  I used to watch it with my grandpa in his living room he would be wrestling right along with them.  I would be drinking my bottle of Pepsi with the peanuts poured in it.  We’d cheer for the good guys and boo the bad guys.  We’d scream at the dazed referee to turn around that guy just pulled a “foreign object” out of his boot!  And to learn that it was all a show – what a disappointment.

I have to admit.  I still will occasionally watch a little wrestling on TV.  It’s more outrageous now than ever.  But it just doesn’t have the same appeal.  It’s a show.  A performance.  Some are indeed great athletes.  I marvel at their strength and agility but I know it isn’t real!  Sadly I have much the same reaction for some of what I see passed off as real Christianity.  There are many things done today in the name of the Christian faith that are “flashy” or “spectacular” but are far more performance than reality.  Much of what is done today in the name of Christian worship has little or nothing to do with biblical faith.  Today, more than ever, the church needs to return to its foundation.  The church needs to return to authentic faith.  I’m not talking so much about “packaging”, as I am content.  It’s not so much what we do or how we do it as it is who we are.  I’m talking about core issues concerning how we think, what we value, what motivates us and what we trust in.

Webster defines authentic as “trustworthy . . . not imaginary, false or imitation.”  The word genuine means, “actually having the reputed qualities or character.  Actually produced by or proceeding from the source or author.  Of or relating to the original stock.”  The need, the call is to authentic or genuine biblical faith.  In a world filled with imitations, knock offs and look a likes – there is a tremendous need for the genuine article.  That is the focus of the Lord Jesus in our text this morning.

Text: Luke 12:1-12

Background for Luke:
     Theophilus, orderly account, evangelistic purpose

Immediate context:
    In the home of a Pharisee, 2 agendas (Pharisee’s & Jesus’)
    The resultant anger 11:53-54

Thesis: In a world full of imitations believers are called to exhibit authentic biblical faith.

In our text we find 5 marks of genuine, authentic believers.  These are characteristics of the real deal, the genuine article.  These are the characteristics that identify believers who exhibit genuine faith.

  1. Authentic believers live lives of transparent honesty.  (12:1-3)
  2. Authentic believers walk in reverential fear of God.  (12:4-5)
  3. Authentic believers rest in God’s providential care.  (12:6-7)
  4. Authentic believers boldly, unashamedly profess Christ.  (12:8-10)
  5. Authentic believers trust in the Spirit’s enabling.  (12:11-12)

Conclusion:

We have been called to exhibit an authentic biblical faith.

One that…

Is marked by transparent honest.
Is marked by reverential fear of God.
Is marked by rest in God’s providential care.
Is marked by a bold, public confession.
Is marked by the Spirit’s enabling.

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A Little Traveling Music

A Little Traveling Music: Selected Psalms

The PsalmsThis is an exposition of Psalm 120. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, February 1, 2017.

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Walking by Faith

Walking by Faith: 2 Kings #26

This is an exposition of 2 Kings 21:1-26. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 29, 2017.

Intro:

Have you noticed life doesn’t always work out as you planned?  Ever notice that things don’t always go according to script?  You had things figured out.  You knew how things should have gone.  You were certain that God was onboard because you had chapter and verse but things didn’t go as planned.  Someone had changed the script or some of the actors in your little drama decided to improvise.  Whatever the reason, your life isn’t what you thought it would be, it doesn’t seem to square with your understanding of the will of God and you’re mad about it!  

Have you ever had a time when nothing in your world made sense and there was nothing you could do about it?  Nothing you could say?  Nothing you could do?  You just had to hang on and try to ride it out?  It seems I spend a lot of time, anymore, shaking my head in unbelief.  I look at the world around me and I’m thinking, “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.”  It seems the world has changed and I don’t recognize things.  That’s how it was for the righteous remnant in Jerusalem in the years not long before the Babylonian exile.  The Northern kingdom had gone out of existence.  A time of refreshment came to Judah and it looked as if they might escape the horrifying judgment of God.  King Hezekiah was a breath of fresh air.  He got rid of the high places.  He cut done the Asherah and restored true worship to the temple.  Thus God was with him.  This new David brought stability and integrity to the kingdom.  Yet, dark clouds were rolling in.  

Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the LORD but he had feet of clay and when threatened by the Assyrians he sought to hedge his bet by joining with Babylon and Egypt against the Assyrians.  From his death bed he cried out to God and asked for mercy.  He asked God to extend his life.  God graciously agreed to not only heal the king but to take care of that whole Assyrian mess.  Yes, God was exceedingly gracious to the king and to the nation.  Of course during that extra 15 years the king had a son who would become the most vile king in the nation’s history.  Our text this evening is the 21st chapter of 2 Kings.

Text: 2 Kings 21:1-26

As we work our way through this chapter we are going to learn that…

Thesis: In times of confusion, doubt and upheaval believers refuse to give in to what they see but rather tenaciously cling to the promise of God by faith.

Scripture admonishes us to “walk by faith and not by sight.”  This is not a call to ignore the obvious and blindly follow religious dogma.  It means we trust in the Word of God.  We rely on the revelation God has given to us and when there is a conflict between what God has said and what we see or understand we chose to believe what God has said.  We chose to believe because God has proven to be faithful.  We are the fallen sons and daughters of Adam and we are fallible.  We make mistakes.  We are often wrong.  God is always faithful.  His Word is always true.  His will is always accomplished.  So, we believe.

Now, I’m not at all suggesting that this is easy.
But this is to be our frame of reference.
I trust His judgment over mine.
I believe His promise over my ability to assess the situation.

I will also admit it is easy to say this tonight.  It is easy for me to preach a sermon and say, “This is how we are to respond.”  It is often another thing all together when it comes to putting this principle into practice “out there” in the real world.

Let me pull three principles out of this text to help us live out this truth.

  1. Biblical faith accepts that the ways of God are beyond our understanding.  (21:1-9)
  2. Biblical faith understands that God will not be mocked and justice will ultimately prevail.  (21:10-16)
  3. Biblical faith is not destroyed by political or religious corruption but rather clings tenaciously to God’s promise.  (21:17-26)

Conclusion:

One writer said, “Like dropping anchor to ride out a furious storm, they hold to Yahweh’s kingdom promise in spite of the disappointments and wickedness that have closed in on them.”

They didn’t have all the answers to their nation’s troubles but they seemed to know the next step – place another descendant of David on the throne.  That may not solve today’s troubles but it’s the promise of God, and the promise is the anchor until the answer comes.

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Authentic Biblical Faith

Authentic Biblical Faith: 2016 Gospel of Luke #45

This is an exposition of Luke 11:37-54. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 29, 2017.

Intro:

Have you ever gotten one of those phone calls or letters congratulating you on being chosen?  “You have been selected, one out of thousands, to receive this unbelievable offer.”  That’s your first clue.  It’s too good to be true.  “We are so confident of our service that we invite you to a brief, informal, no obligation presentation and guarantee that you will receive one of the following.  A pair of his and hers sport watches, a big screen home theater system or your own island in the Caribbean!”  Guess which one you’re going to get!  “All we ask is that you hear what we have to say.”  If you’ve ever fallen for that, then you’ve discovered that their service wasn’t exactly what they implied it was and that their “fabulous gift” was a joke.  No one likes to be misled.  Inherently we despise those who misrepresent themselves.  No one seeks the label of “hypocrite.”  

A hypocrite is one who “plays the part.”  An actor.  One who pretends to be something they are not.  Through the years I have had plenty of folks say to me, “I not going to church anywhere.  The church is full of hypocrites.”  To that I usually want to respond, “So come on we’ve always got room for one more!”  I’ve got several things I would like to say in such circumstances but thankfully better judgement prevails.  Unfortunately too many folks have been hurt or disappointed by some “professed” believer.  Too many times pastors and other church leaders have scandalized the church through immorality or unethical behavior.  But most folks are “put off” by the inconsistency they note in family members, friends and coworkers who fail to practice what they preach.

I’m convinced this is, in many respects, more a danger today then at any point in the history of the church.  In a culture in which faith has become increasingly private.  Where religion and spirituality are at the disposal of private whim, faith and religion becomes what I decide to make it and who are you to tell me otherwise?  In such an environment one is free to make God in their own image.  By the way I’m not talking about New Agers or eastern mysticism or nature religion, I’m talking about those who claim the Christian label.  It is often subtle but can be revealed in phrases such as “my Bible tells me” or “my God says this or does that.”  Is my faith personal?  Yes.  Is it a private matter?  No.  I believe within a community, the church.  I believe in a body of truth, the faith.  I have a divine revelation, the Word of God.  That Book is not open to my own personal interpretations or twists.  What I think this or that means is not the issue what God has said is the issue.  How I respond to His revelation is the issue.  My obedience to His revelation is paramount.  These issues form the backdrop for our text this morning.

Text: Luke 11:37-54

Background on the Gospel of Luke.
    Time, purpose, focus
    
The immediate context:

  • Teaching on prayer
  • Giving of the Holy Spirit
  • Exorcism
  • Demands for a “sign”

“When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to his home for a meal.”  One wonders about this invitation.  What was the Pharisee’s motivation?  Was it simply a matter of the prestige of having such a controversial figure to be a guest in his home?  Was it because the teaching and ministry of Jesus had piqued his interest?  Was it another attempt on the part of the Pharisees to “entrap” our Lord?  I suspect it was the latter but it is clear to me in the text, the Lord had an agenda for this meeting as well!

Thesis: In a world that is long on tolerance and short on truth, believers must consistently stand for authentic biblical faith.

Tolerance is the new watchword.  If you are to be politically correct you must be tolerant of others.  Just because someone holds a different worldview than you hold does not make them evil.  Rather than silence them or show them the error of their ways you should seek to learn from them and grow as a person.  You see truth is relative.  Ethics are situational.  

I take exception with such a philosophy.  Now hear me out.  I did not say, “I believe in intolerance.”  I do not advocate that we “lock up” all those folks who don’t believe what we believe.  I do not believe that we should force others to “accept” our beliefs.  I will be “tolerant” and understanding with those who disagree with me but I will not, I cannot say it is okay to believe a lie!  The Scripture and the love of God compel me to defend the truth.  To plead with others to embrace the truth.  To warn those who stand outside the truth of the judgement that is to come.

The Lord Jesus has some strong things to say in our text.  There are some harsh words here.  And these words are not spoken to the “pagans” but to the extremely “religious.”  One other thing we should note.  He is not speaking to a bunch of liberals. He is addressing a group of fundamentalists.

There are two things I want us to note in our text.

  1. Biblical faith will not tolerate shallow, hypocritical religion.  (11:37-44)
    11:42 is a warning against a precise but passionless faith.
    11:43 is a warning against a proud and arrogant faith.
    11:44 is a warning against purely hypocritical faith.
  2. A biblical faith will not tolerate lip service to the authority of Scripture without heart-felt obedience to the Scripture.  (11:44-54)
    11:46 –  is a warning against legalistic and unloving faith.
    11:47-51 – is a warning against two-faced faith.
    11:52  – is a warning against an obstructive faith.
        
    Conclusion:We are called to authentic biblical faith.

    One that embraces the truth and is transformed from the inside out.
    One that is genuinely committed to the Word of God and governed by the Word of God.

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