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Radical Love

Jeremy Arnall


God calls His Laodicean Church to embrace a radical faith and life in these last days. In these three messages, we will consider the radical implications of such a calling. 


Jeremy Arnall

Senior Pastor at the Greeneville SDA Church in Greeneville, TN


  • October 29, 2016
    7:30 AM
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Sleep good I trust. I wanted to take a moment to share with you a picture of my family and I wish they could be here with me I was looking for a picture I just had to pull one from our recent trip up to New New England and Canada but my wife like I said yesterday she's an identical twin. Myself an identical twin as well. We are both seven minutes apart. And Tina is the older twin and I'm. Her twin sister and I'm the younger twin of my twin brother who passed away the church Cumberland plane crash. Back in zero four when we had Jason our oldest son there on the left. We thought we got to do something about this that kids alone. Having always had a sibling. Tell you it's a gift from God I'll always treasure even though I lost. But it's a special thing to have somebody that you can grow up with and go through all the stages and experiences of childhood and youth. It's a gift from God. So these two are about sixteen months apart and first and second grade or first and second grade. They're eight nine years of age we live out in the country you feel blessed to have a great church in a great community in which to live in a very rural setting. Somebody asked me yesterday you know I hear that you all do some interesting things at Greenville What do you do not to share with you briefly I don't know that it's all that unique but. I would say that I feel like we are blessed and meant slee within the special church of course everybody thinks their church special but that's the way it should be a Suppose we have a great team of different physicians of various specialties and what's exciting is that as a whole we all share the same passion. In. I know some of us have often talked about how we feel like we're on the same page. Sometimes unique in some in some cases and so we just you know I say I can't take it any credit is just there's a passion that's burning within our members heart so what do we do when we have what we call how to classes. It allows members whether they're doctors or just you know a blue collar worker It allows everybody to bring their specialty to the table and so throughout the year scattered throughout the various months we like to have classes on everything from how to cut hair to how to paint to how to build a greenhouse to grow a garden to photography if you want to have if you've got somebody in your church. I like photography and and so I just teach a class you know you don't have to be an expert. You just have to know something about it. I'm in everybody's got Google. That a look at kittens and cute little pictures on Facebook you know learn some and teach it and. And so we I I've been amazed that photography class how you can just bring in swarms of people. I mean literally you can get a good crowd just with a simple ad paper because nobody wants to learn how to use their camera that they bought. And so we have those kind of classes we have a course diabetes and we've we've done many years of chip. We have a cycle of evangelism which I encourage I think every church if you don't have a cycle of evangelism I mean a planting a harvest in a regular basis then you're missing out on the choice that God wants to afford you. So I don't know there's there's other things. I'm sure we seek to take advantage of our guests when they come on Sabbath morning reaching out giving them something to remember their first experience by and try to have fellowship dinners regularly you know it's just basic things but God is blessing. And seeds are being planted Appalachian is not the easiest culture to bring about change but we're planting seeds and we trust that Jesus is coming very soon. And when the people see these things coming about as they thought you know I think I heard about that in a meeting I attended. We've been blessed you know I'm amazed we send out twenty sets six thousand twenty thousand brochures. I still believe in a brochure because there's always people that come that never came in the other way. Granted it's always best to plant that seed in the heart first through personal contact but don't don't throw out the baby with the bathwater and so we send out those pressures we get a good crowd and I'm telling you the people keep coming. Yes it's always course that there's going to be some that leave after you cover those testing trues But even though they don't all except in the end the fact that we have often times we've had fifty percent at near the end of the series still coming. I know those seeds were planted God's in charge of that final harvest. And we just do what we can a man so. God is good. I'm thankful to be at Greenville a great group of people. Isn't it strange that princes and kings. Clowns that caper and sought us strings in common folk like you and me. Are the builders of eternity to each is given a bag of tools a shapeless mass and a book of rules and each must make air time is flow. A stumbling block or a stepping stone to ponder that this morning as we consider this radical love are you a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Let us pray. We need your presence. So I talked with you this morning. I'm reminded that Lord I'm in order for your glory to show forth. I must reflect. And I just pray that in spite of. Me. Spied of the clumsy ways that I could have would you just plea for the sake of the people gathered here for all of us would you fill this place with angels some priests and extras. Lord would you just fill our hearts with your spirit. Wash away all the things that could distract the sins that have so often. Plagued us and may we just for these special moments bask in your presence through the power of your testimony. We all are sitting at your feet with eager anticipation. And she's a sweet nay. Amen. Revelation three seventeen. It says Because you say I am rich this is the Laodicean church. This is. Because you say I am rich have become wealthy and have need of nothing. Do you not know that you are wretched miserable poor blind and naked says that we feel rich. But we really are in desperate condition. If you look at James Chapter two verse five it says listen my beloved beloved brother has God not chosen who are not the rich the poor are of this world to be rich in face heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. Here we see the connection between being rich and poor and the notion of faith connected with love. We're talking about radical love this morning. Elations five or six For in Christ Jesus. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through. Love. John thirteen you know these passages but just reviewing setting the stage. This morning a new commandment I give to you that you love one another as who as I have loved you were talking about a high caliber of love here as I have loved you that you also love one another by this all will know that you are my disciples. If you have love for one another. This as we talked about yesterday and Hebrews Chapter ten when we talked about drawing nearer and faith the hope that we must absorb and then considering one another in love. This morning we want to dig deeper into this radical love that God calls us people to I want to know if you have your Bibles to encourage you to go to Matthew seventeen. And I want to invite you to read with me this account in Matthew seventeen. Now I want to say that as you turn there. This story in Matthew seventeen is taking place about seven to eight months before Jesus will be crucified. This is Jesus has been ministering in Galilee. But he's ready for some quiet solitude with his disciples he's been ministering to the multitude. Now he wants to minister to his church. OK. If you didn't have Matthew eighteen you wouldn't be ready for Matthew twenty eight. If you don't have then you're not going to be ready for the Gospel commission. So Jesus wants to to really hone in because it's clear that the cycles still don't get the nature of his kingdom or his mission. Notice his words to them here in Matthew seventeen and I want you to notice. Verse twenty four. Yesterday twenty four when they had come to so I don't have it on the screen but notice first twenty two first now while they were staying in Galilee Jesus said to them. The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. And they will kill him and the third day he will be raised up and they were exceedingly sorry. I want you to do that. Matthew seventeen this section and Matthew eighteen occur on the same day. That's important. That's very important and I want you to notice that what is said here. Jesus is trying to instill in them. This is the foundation for where we're going in this study. Jesus is trying to establish for them that folks My kingdom is one of sacrifice. My mission is one of sacrifice with that in mind I want you to notice first twenty four. When they had come to Capernaum those who receive the temple tax came to Peter and said. Does your teacher not pay the temple tax. Now we need to make sure we understand the tone here the Greek tells us that the E.U. is plural here. So being from Tennessee having been born in North Carolina let me just put this in our vernacular. He's for any saying it positive type Tony say Ira. Assuming that the answer is yes it's kind of like this. Ya'll teacher pays the temple tax doesn't he. You understand now. That cleared it up in. Verse twenty five you also teacher pays the temple tax doesn't he now. Let me also say this this is not one tax this is not a pro fifteen. You understand I'm saying this is not tax time. Peter knows that by this question being put to him like this that something's up. Even this is not when you collect taxes and you also need to understand that when taxes were collected that it was expected this was really more like a toll. But it was really a donation it was an offering and so but it was expected this kind of like a suggested donation but you know that really means you better come up with the money right. And so it's a donation but if you're a good Jew You got to pay that. You're going up offer give the offering. But if you're a Levite if you're Ferris C. I mean a a a priest or a prophet. You are exempt. I hope you're getting a weight of this question now. If you're a priest or a prophet. You don't have to pay. So the so this guy comes up says Peter you know. Ya'll sprees. And you also Jesus paid the temple text any. And notice what Peter Peter's got to think quick but Peter's known as kind of speak up faster right now that's what he says and. But as I turn to page. He said yes and when he had come into the house. So Peter says yes he says yes and then it says and when he had come into the house. Jesus anticipated him don't you love that I can't can you picture this. Peter just had this encounter scratching his head. He's he's on he's uncomfortable. Jesus Walks. He walks in Jesus looks at him and it's like oh. He knows all about it. And knows what he says Jesus says. I keep turning the pages are there so must be a breeze up here. What do you think so. I'm from home to the kings of the earth take customs or taxes from their sons or from strangers. Peter what do you think Peter knows what he knows I mean it's just like Jesus with been there the whole time and so he you know there's a son have to pay the tax. You know the you know what he's getting at. Right. I mean this is Jesus who is not just a prophet who's not just a priest but as the Son of God Does he have to pay tax. Well. Well no notice what Peter says Peter said to him from strangers. Jesus said unto him then the sons are free stranger pays tax son now. No you son doesn't pay tax. The nurse first twenty six. Ups. Peter said to him from stranger she said in the stones are free nurse for twenty seven. Nevertheless lest we offend them go to the sea cast in a hook and take the fish that comes up first and when you have opened its mouth. You will find a piece of money take that and give it to them for me and for you now. When he says lest we offend. Lest we offend you remember verses twenty two and twenty three tells us that we're talking in the context here is sacrifice of being a servant or a sacrificial service. And then he says lest we offend this is the same word that's going to be used throughout Matthew eight. Matthew eighteen. It's the same word for stumbling block lest we have offend lest we serve as a stumbling block what pay the tax. Yes I'm more than a prophet. Yes I'm more than a priest but Jesus as is classic with Jesus he humbles himself he says let's pay unless you think this is self-serving he's paying US tax or at least two reasons one for Peter says get the money for me and you. And then two he's doing it for the sake of the people who for them. Lest we offend. It's not for Jesus' sake he didn't owe the tax but he's doing it lest he if it were talking about radical love right. Notice where this goes back to eighteen first to the first one at that time the disciples came to Jesus saying who that is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus called a little child to him and said I'm in the midst of them and said assuredly I say to you unless you are converted and become as little children. You will by no means into the team of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever receives. One little child like this in my name. Receives me. Now there catch this the disciples are talking amongst each other. Who's who's going to be greatest in the kingdom and Jesus hears them he's walking a little ways ahead but he hears the discussion kind of like parents hearing what the kids are talking about in the backseat. They don't really think about it but he's hearing and so they say well who's going to be the greatest in the kingdom and then then Jesus says I tell you it's not about who's greatest I'm telling you're not going to be there are you. With me. You're not going and be there if you don't become like one of these little child inspiration tells us he he took a child put it in what he called it. That right there the crook of his arm. Unless you become like one of these humble. Unless you you humble yourself you're not going to be the greatest in the kingdom you're I can be there. Because he says in verse four whoever humbles himself as this little child. It's clear what the issue is that's the likeness unto the child. If you become humble like the child then you will be in the kingdom but if not you know I can even be there. And whoever receives the same word is like a nun to welcome whoever welcomes. One of these little children or receives them. In my name receives me notice in my name in other words as a Christian as a follower of Christ. If you do this in my name. If you humble yourself and receive them. Welcome them their weaker than you. OK they're weaker this is important. They are humble they're weak. If you receive them. If you welcome them. You can have a place in the kingdom. If not notice for six this gets pretty intense but whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin. I thought we were just talking about welcoming. Are you with me. I thought we were just talking about receiving them. But if you don't receive them. If you do. Well there is what he says he says if you cause the little one of these little ones who believe in me to said it would be better for him not for the little one. But for the one who caused him to sin to have for him. If a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. And that's pretty intense right. That's like going to somebody's church I heard one preacher say and I said. Just imagine going into a church and says we welcome everybody. But if you cause one of these little ones to stumble. We're going to throw you in the sea with a millstone around her neck. That are set up pay attention. This is serious business and you know come on if you're a parent you know exactly what he's talking about. If your child is in the church just go follow this. If your child is in a church and somebody causes that child to step into sin Pernod graffiti or or alcohol or whatever. You're going to be pretty hot under the collar right. Yeah I can start to relate to this millstone thing now. Right. And Jesus this is serious business and notice for seven. It says whoa to the world because of. Offenses woe to the world because of stumbling blocks for a stumbling block. I mean an offense must come but woad to that man by whom the offense the stumbling block comes if your hand or foot causes you to sin cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into the lane. It's a life lame or maimed rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. If your eye causes you to sin pluck it out cast it for it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye rather than having two eyes to be cast into the lake of into hell fire. Now we often you know and rightfully so. Apply. This to the personal life were always about personal right personal salvation a personal devotion like personal. I mean there's a place for personal but there's also a place for corporate image and if you look at the context of Chapter eighteen and you look at where this goes. Later on. Remember this is all the same day and you look at where this goes it goes into later in chapter eighteen What do we often refer to or think of when we talk about Matthew eighteen. The Matthew eighteen model. Right. You go to your neighbor first in bring an elder and then you then you take it for the church. We're talking about that discipline in the church right. How we maintain order how might we maintain unity. How we protect the weaker one. Right. So as to catch this if if there's one in the church being a stumbling block causing offense. We're talking about radical love this morning. If there's someone in the church causing offense causing a brother or sister to stumble. It's better that they be cut off and you say well this talk about feet hit. Peter I mean Paul made this clear right first Corinthians twelve in the context it's clear it's better that we cut that part of the body off. And harm the whole body. Amen. Are you with me. OK maybe this is I find this quite fascinating. Notice first in take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones for I say to you that in heaven. There are angels always see the face of my father who is in heaven. You know I just preached recently on angels. And I was just remind I mean you know really look at this book by Ellen White you know angels. We all have an angel you remember that I know but we tend to forget it. Sometimes don't we. And these little ones that we might cause offense to I'm talking about the weaker brother. They have an angel. And they have connections. Verse eleven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost the weaker brother. OK With all of that said. Let's make this little bit more personal Romans fourteen. You know this passage. Romans fourteen. OK Romans fourteen one notice now follow this. This is something you know. They came out. Received one who is weak in the faith but not to disputes over doubtful things received one then we just hear about receiving and welcoming right. If you don't receive one of these little ones right. Receive one who is weak in the face but not to disputes there's clearly a connection between this and Matthew eighteen but but not to dispute over our our debate over doubtful things in other words dispute debate same concept. Don't be debating over doubtful things we love to debate only sometimes we call it saddest go but we love to debate going. For one believes he may eat all things but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats for God has received him. Who are you to judge another servant to his own master. He stands or falls. Indeed he will be made to stand for God is able to make him stay and now the discussion here is a little bit vague as far as what we're talking about specifically some think that it's probably the Judy guys are still trying to maintain the ceremonial laws and that this is the debate. Others think it could possibly be the meat sacrificed to idols issue. It doesn't matter which one it. Is the principle is still the say and for the sake of illustration let me use the meat sacrificed to idols to explain if someone thinks that it's wrong to eat this because it could have been sacrificed to an idol. Then that's OK That's their conscience. But if they think well you know it doesn't matter then then that's OK We're going to come to that the minute I'm getting ahead of the game but you understand he's saying don't argue over the point receive one another. Let me let me have you look at verse four more carefully. The papers keep turning out here but first for Who are you to judge another servant to his own master. He stands or falls. He. No I'm Terry verse three. Let not him who despise him who does not eat. And let not him who does not eat what. Judge him who eat for God has received him. Can I just put this in a bit more easy to understand term and I hate to use these terms but I think we all know what we're talking about when we use these terms and I'm like this use those terms. If those do it with those terms. Let not him who is. More liberal in their views. Despise him who is more conservative in their view and let not him who does not. I'm sorry. And let not him who is more conservative judge him. Who is more liberal in his view. Does that make it a little bit more relevant. Right. For Who are you to judge another servant remember. I can look at someone's actions but I really don't know the motives of the heart right. And when we talk about perfection in these last days we're talking about complete surrender to Christ right. Right. And so we may not all look exactly alike. But God knows the heart and if it's fully surrendered for all the light he or she has been given. Who am I to judge then. Are we with we with each other here right folks. The Church is struggling right now isn't. There's a lot of discussion going around. We could use Romans fourteen right about now. Right. I'm not saying the truth goes out to win. I'm not saying principle goes out the window. I'm not saying that at all. But we must tread very very carefully noticed and I'm not going to read the whole chapter for sake of time but there is for seven. Or seven says for not of us lives to himself and no one dies to himself when a body. Like it or not we're a body. Verse twelve so then each of us shall give account of himself to God Therefore let us not judge one another anymore. But rather resolve this not to put a stumbling block. Not to put a stumbling block or an offense or a cause to fall in your brother's way. I know and have convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself. But to him who considers anything to be unclean to him. It is unclean. If your for brother is grieved because of your food. You are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy it with your plate. I'm sorry your food the one for whom Christ died. You say well I have every right. It is my right. I get so tired. We we say that too much don't weigh. It is my right to eat this to wear this to go to this. It's my right. It's only your right as long as one you're your clear with God Amen and you're not causing your brother to stumble. Let's say I would say Facebook has been one of the most dangerous things in this arena. It is open the gates has an. It it. I say this it's not even my right to post certain things when I know I have certain friends that will be offended on my part of my friends list for you know those of you not for Facebook the story about it. I bear a responsibility to God because He gave His life for that weaker brother. Verse nineteen therefore let us pursue the things which made for peace which make for peace. And the things by which one may edify another it is good. Neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have and do you have faith have it to yourself before God happy he is he who does not condemn himself. And what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats because he does not eat from faith for whatever is not from faith. What may be sin for you may not be sent for me. And what I'm saying God reads the heart Senate said Oh I'm not talking about relativism here I don't get I hope that didn't come out. But what is got his convicted Jew on he maybe has convicted me. You could say well you're just not you're just you're just turning your blind eye. You can't know what I'm thinking a man I can't know what let's quit judging one another. Let's stand for truth stand for principle but let's not judge the motives of our brothers and sisters. And let's not cause offense on necessarily notice first Corinthians. First Corinthians. I have to say I am passionate about this subject because as a pastor and you can say probably as a as a physician or as just a member in your carnation if you stop and think about it. This is one of the big problems we face in men. I mean come on do we not all struggle with this. Thanks for helping me out there. Pray for me. Notice first Corinthians eight. Let's go a little deeper. First Corinthians a verse four. Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols. We know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no other God but one for even if there are so called gods whether in heaven or on earth as there are many gods and many Lords yet for us there is one God the Father of whom are all things and we for him and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom we are all things and through whom we live. However there is not in everyone that knowledge for some. Um with consciousness of the idle until now eat it as a thing offered to an idle and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food does not condemn a commend us to God for neither if we eat. Are we the better nor if we do not eat our way the worse but be aware somehow this liberty of yours becomes a what stumbling block to those who are weak. Let's just review what happens to those who cause offense to a child such as this. Better if what. A millstone be put around his neck may be cast necessities not a matter of where you're going to be and the. And the greatness of heaven will be there. This is serious. Where was the first hint for if anyone sees you who have knowledge of eating in an idol temple. It's one thing if you put your card to Kirsch store but if you go to the temple and eat it. There is no question. Right. Now it's not like well what is the label say we know how to read labels right. It's it's this. If you go to the temple and it's called really putting it on thick air verse ten if anyone sees you have to have now sees you who have knowledge eating in idols temple. Will not the conscience of Him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols. And you say but there's nothing wrong with eating food offered to I don't. It is if it's something that goes against your conscience. Right. Versa Levon and because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ died but when you stand against the brother and wound their weak conscience use in against Christ. Therefore if food makes my brother stumble. I will never again eat meat lest I make my brother stumble. I think on that for a moment. We've got matters before us in perhaps in your local church and yes before us as a worldwide church. And if only the conversation would shift more within these lines I'm in. It's not about rights. We're all here to serve sacrificially. Is it worth it. Is whatever the agenda may be is it worth it. Really. Is it building up an edifying the body of Christ. We are almost home. We're almost home. Do we have to major in the minors we're almost home. Again let me just say it again. I am in no way suggesting that we should stand for truth. But but in Romans fourteen verse three he says Do not judge the one who thinks it's OK to eat. And if you think it's OK to eat don't despise the one who doesn't think so. Katie. Don't judge don't despise. Wearily Chapter nine. We're covering a lot of territory this morning but scripture puts it best. So I'm using scripture. For though I am free from all men I have made myself a servant to all that I might win the more that's what it's about. Amen. I made myself a servant. I don't know if you heard elder Finley's presentation yesterday afternoon. Middle session. If you didn't go to audio version listen to it. It is its powerful. Be a servant to all verse twenty. And to the Jews I became as a Jew that I might win Jews to those who are under the law as under the law that I might win those who are under the law to those who are without laws without law. Not being without law toward God but under law toward Christ that I might when those who are under who are without law to the weak. I became as weak that I might win the week. I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save. Now in light of what we've just sort of let that marinate for a moment. Maybe if I find myself more if we could use these labels more on the conservative end of this discussion. Whatever the discussion. Lord lead me that I don't unnecessarily cause offense. To my brother or sister who is of what some would call a more liberal mind. And you with me. My add a line here. Because we never for say truth but we want to remember the importance of the truth. Of loving your neighbor as yourself. That's truth to. So if I need to be a Jew to the Jew be a Jew if I need to be a gentile to the Gentiles be a gentile be what I need to be don't ever obstruct our damage your conscience before God But but. Where a body. Noticed her chapter ten verse twenty three. All things are lawful for me but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me but not all things edify let not no one's his own but each one the other's well being. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market asking no questions for conscience saying. Like that. Don't just don't read the label. Right. And just want to sit there and enjoy that moment. Verse twenty six for the earth is the Lord's and all its fullness. If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner. And you desire to go eat whatever is set before you asking no questions for conscience say but if anyone says to you. This was offered to idols do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you. And for conscience sake for the earth is the Lord's and all its fullness. If the person puts the plate now we're not talking about a pig here. Thank you. Not talking about we're talking about me sacrificed to idols. Some would call those the great issues right. That's a dangerous term but you understand. I'm trying to say Just don't ask if they tell you oh by the way this was sacrificed to idols. Donated it's clearly a test life for conscience sake for their conscience say they're watching. You know where we're going first twenty eight twenty nine conscience I say not sure own but that of the other for why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience. We're talking about. Inning souls for Christ inside and outside the church a man inside the church winning souls for Christ first verse thirty. But if I partake with thinks why am i wet Why am I evil spoke enough for the food over which I give thanks. Therefore whether you eat or drink or whatever you do do all to the chlorine of God. Gives no offense either to the Jews or to the creeks or to the Church of God. Just as I also please all men in all things not seeking my own profit but the profit of many that they may be saved. I want you to be in heaven don't you. I want I want my whole church family to be in heaven. And you look at you know you look at your own church. What a diverse group right. I want to maul there by the way if I don't want to be all there. Don't worry I won't be there. Notice. Notice where and Paul goes in the rest of this this book. I'm not going to take slides and put it on there but but I want you to notice where he goes with this. If you go to Chapter eleven he talks about head coverings I guess what we wear has something to do with it too many men. Notice verse six. If you've got your bible for it. The woman is not covered let her also be short but if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved letter because it's not about me it's about you. And a man said you're not. I'm about to wear. BABA But if it's going to mean a sister or brother is in the kingdom. I think we can make some adjustments to our workshops in a minute. If it's going to mean a. Brother sister in the kingdom you say it's so trivial come on that's modern legalism. It's legalism to insist that you wear what you want to wear. I mean it. I all I care. All we should care about is that our brothers and sisters are in the kingdom and if I have to dress a little different for their sake. Praise God Heaven is cheap enough and even though now notice for Paul continues with this the conduct of the Lord's Supper Boy that's a good one. I mean look what he said for first of all verse eighteen when you come together as a church I hear that there are divisions among you and I and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place. It is not to eat the Lord's Supper for eating each one takes his own supper ahead of others. And one is hungry another is strong. What do you not have houses to eat and drink and argue or do you just buy the Church of God and shame those who have nothing. What shall I say to you shall I praise you in this. I do not pray shew. I won't even talk about. I have some etiquette right. You can eat at home. Fellowship dinner is not about the dinner its about the fellowship right. And there are like term potluck anyway and it should be fellowship dinner with the emphasis on fellowship. Notice chapter twelve and by the way my heading in verse twenty seven there says examine yourself. We all should do this verse twelve Chapter twelve spiritual gifts unity in diversity. This is the piece about you know we. Each have a part to play in the body of Christ and we all are different in our roles but where one body you understand that but then notice Chapter thirteen the great love chapter. This is the context in which we read Chapter thirteen. Love one another first for love suffers law kind love does not intervene. It does not parade itself it's not puffed up. It does not behave rudely does not what seek its own. Does not seek its own it's not provoked thinks no evil does not rejoice in iniquity but in your choices in the truth doesn't get excited the so and so's really go on out there you know it it's not interested in the gossip and the others. Says I will become whatever. Within the Lord's design so that my brother or sister can have a team of God. If Jesus was willing to guard himself in humanity than then. Must we not be willing to guard ourselves in the way that will reach our brother or sister when. I am talking I'm using the top to the ideas of food and dress but let's face it that's where a lot of people. I mean. You talk about all sorts of things san and hell talk about drafts and then there everything breaks loose right. Some things seem to get us sided. Now love bears all things it believes all things hopes all things endures all things love never fails. But there's probably still fail tongues of the Seas where there's knowledge of fan a sure way for we what this is so necessary for humility. We know in part. And we prophesied in part. Let us be humble in that we only scratched the surface. God has given sufficient knowledge for the Kingdom of God. And what you know and what I know may not be the same but God knows the direction I'm headed. He knows my heart. And he know she hers. Now abides faith hope and love these three. But the greatest of these is love. So. With all that said. Notice but notice Jesus in Matthew seventeen. Was willing to pay the tax. God provided the funds. He paid the tax. So as not to offend. It sent in a sense the wrong message. If you understand what I'm saying it. It allowed them to continue in their blindness. Why. So he might reach them to show them why. And then. He it was the way in which he did it that showed us the love and the compassion the greater the greater picture that Jesus did not offend others lessons all over the place for us especially in light of what we're facing as a church in the midst of the controversy in the turmoil that we hear on the papers of our church help us. We must stand for a truce. But Romans fourteen three must be in our hearts. In fact this is so pivotal when the church was trying to decide you know what do we need to just really make the bottom line notice. Sort of like a general conference issue here for it seemed good to the Holy Spirit. To us to lay upon you. No greater burden than these necessary things. That you abstain from things offered to idols from blood from things strangled from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these. You'll do well. Farewell. Really food meat sacrificed to idols made it in the list. Because we are all body. We are to be united. A man. We don't need this right now. Right and. We've got bigger fish to fry. Don't cause your brother to stumble in fact notice this revelation to talking about the church is here. Nevertheless I have a few things against you because you allow that woman just a Bell who calls herself a prophetess to teach and to seduce my servants to commit sexual or a morality and A what. Eat thing sacrificed to idols and in other words it wasn't just the full blown sexual immorality it was the meat sacrificed to idols principle when the meat sacrificed to idols is embraced then it goes into full blown idolatry sexual Amen it with me verse fourteen. But I have a few things going back in the passage but I'm a few things against you because you ARE YOU are those because you have there are those who hold the doctrine of Belem who taught bêlit to put a stumbling block. We know something about that. Now I'm N. stuff offense. He ballot put us block. Before the children of Israel. To eat things sacrificed to idols to commit sexual immorality. You know I hear this term. Oh it's not a salvation issue. It is don't you ever tell somebody. It's not a salvation issue because it may be to them. A man. And when you when you start going down that. Pat Well it's not a salvation issue. It really means that. It really means that you're trying to most likely let's be honest read. You're not none of us are good at reading our own hearts only God is most likely. We're trying to placate and we're trying to neutralize the sin. So that we can enjoy it for a while. And when we go down that slippery path it leads to commit sexual immorality full blown idolatry blasphemy. This is VERY us. Matthew eight hundred twelve. What do you think the man has one hundred sheep and one of them goes astray does he not leave the ninety nine and go and go to the mountains to seek the one that is strange. Folks remember the context Matthew eighteen. He tells the story and he talks about later about the. The discipline in the church. This is all goes together. There's a place for discipline a man came in to. Just want to make sure we agree. What do you think of a man has one hundred sheep and one of them goes astray does he not leave the ninety nine and go to the bow to seek the one is strange. And as the passage later says you know if you don't have success alone then you bring an elder but you go after that one. Right. You go after that one. It may mean that you have to stay out late. It may mean that you have to inconvenience yourself. For the conscience of that brother or sister but you're going out to reach that lost sheep. That it says as if he should find and if he should find it assuredly I say to you. He rejoices more over that she than over the ninety nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your father who is in heaven that one of these little one should pair. No. Stories told of a little boy that girl with a little boy oh boy I was out playing off the contact lens that he had in his eye. He looked around didn't find the contect and he went in to mama and said Mama I looked and I am so sorry I lost the contact lens mamma went out and looked in just a few minutes she had a contact and he was flabbergasted he said How did you find that contact lens. She said I was you were looking for a contact lens. I was looking for one hundred fifty dollars. Fanjul isn't just doesn't work like it used to. It's hard to use days. People just don't seem interested. I've tried. They work in your community don't work in my. I've got it's by patients you know and. This is this is this is office business that's church business and. Soul for whom Christ is not just the person with the smell under his arms and the ragged jeans and the shirt has that nasty logo on it. It's a soul. For whom Christ I sold the has the potential to live for eternity in heaven. That person that just doesn't seem to fit in. That's flat frankly rather annoying kind of like what Dr Guthrie shared the other night. Don't you want them to have eternity to Behold the Lamb. Don't you want to have eternity to to go and when trillions of years of past sit under the tree in the top to think that they came so close. Aren't you glad you took the extra time. Aren't you glad you made adjustments and whatever area of life that were necessary so that they could spend eternity in heaven. This is why we exist as a church. Let's not give ourselves up for debate when the church is busy about evangelism. We can talk about it. We can hold and I'm not to love a man don't talk every careful. But if if if if we just talk about fishing you know the story. If we just go to seminars about fishing but we never fish. It would make the bystander scoff. We can do evangelism in this very hotel. Amen. And there's been people walking all around. We can do evangelism in this very hotel. Radical love faith hope and love the greatest of these is love you know I love my wife and take I love my wife. She's beautiful. God made her for me and me for her. But you know we only get married. What about one thousand years ago I guess. We over time have learned about things that are not necessarily wrong. But some things that I sometimes do she doesn't. Prefer. And there are some things that she may do it times out of the way into their interest. It's not necessarily about it being right or wrong. Technically but she doesn't like it. So in love for her. I must relinquish right. Now if we can do that for a spouse. Can we do it for up rather our sister in the body of Christ. Faith Hope and Love. But the greatest thing is laugh. Let us pray. Oh Lord. We so need you. We want to ask for forgiveness for our selfish ways and our stubborn mannerisms that have insisted on our right to the neglect of the betterment of our other our other sister or brother. Lord help us as a church corporately. Worldwide to pause and reflect. The Lord may we. In love for you. Love our brothers and our sisters as you love us pray for our leaders pray for elder Wilson. Or give them courage give them face give them strength. To stand for right. And give each one. Where ever we stand on various matters or issues or please give us the spirit of love and compassion not judging or despising but loving one another. There for the Kingdom of God help us to embrace a radical. That others may notice and said in John thirteen thirty four and thirty five that they will come to realize. We are your disciples. So cleanse us wash help us start afresh and Lord. We love you. It's a childlike love but we still want to tell you we love you. This is our this media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio listen to more sermon W.W.W. or.


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