Sunday, March 12, 2006

Two, Not of a Kind

What a great lectureship we had - Jesus the Master Teacher. Great to see many of the good brethren keeping the faith. I was dissappointed to have not seen several of my fellow class mates. Hope you all are well. The flu bug hit during the last day of the lecture and at least 2 speakers were knocked out of commission. Brother Deloach jokingly remarked, "Would it be safe to say that this lectureship has been sickening?" We all had a great time together and was spiritually uplifted. Someone remarked to me, "Well should we expect you to give us some sermons from the lectures in your mailing?" WHY NOT??? DUH...... These guys make me sound good and my congregation needs me to sound good from time to time. Here is a expansion of one of brother Deloache's thoughts. Hope you can make it better. Kirk

Two, not of a Kind
Matthew 7
I. Introduction
A. In Matthew 7 we find a host of contrasts and action words.
B. It is the intent of this lesson to describe these ideals Jesus set out for those who wish to be associated with his kingdom.
C. Immediately following his emphasis on ‘seeking his kingdom first’ he delivers what I believe to be productive characteristics of his people who are to be found in his kingdom.

II. He begins first by noting two kinds of profilers.
A. The current CBS hit show ‘Criminal Minds’ is about FBI profilers.
B. Everyone profiles another or makes judgment based upon what is known about various behavior traits.
1. We know a sneak by the way they behave. We know a liar by the way they talk, we know a person lax in morals by their sensual behavior.
C. Jesus describes in vs. 1-6 two types of profilers.
1. The one is critical, insensitive, offensive.
a. They are the fault finders, the carping, the derogatory, the disapproving. Around them, you can never be good enough.
2. Though the text doesn’t come out and identify the other, it is understood because Jesus told us what not to become. Kingdom worshipers ought to be sensitive, delicate, tender, sympathetic. He understands that he has specks in his eye, dirt on his hands and mud on his feet because all we like sheep have gone astray.
a. This person has heard the rebuke by James 4:12 Who are you to judge another? And Paul’s admonition in Rom. 14:13, “Let us not judge, rather resolve not to put a stumbling block in our brother’s way.
D. How then does v. 6 come into view with judging?
1. During the restoration movement, there was a man by the name Daniel Sommer. A good man but one who turned very critical in his early ministry. The result of his critical thinking resulted in him dividing the church over located preachers, orphanages, and one cup. His preaching persuaded about 15% of the Lord’s people to take his position, mainly in the north central states. Later in life, when he mellowed, he found himself preaching unity instead of fault finding. The end result was, his own son withdrew fellowship from him, and took over the publication he had vigorously wrote in defense of his position for years.
2. Could it be that casting your pearls (righteous judgment and courteous behavior) means that we should not take time associating and adoring those who are critical and judgmental for in the end they will turn on you and trample you and tear you in pieces as they cast you from their fellowship?
What Kind of profiler are you? Disapproving or sympathetic?

III. Next, Jesus describes two kinds of petitioners 7:7-12.
A. First there are those who are expectant, full of faith, trusting, mighty in conviction; positive.
B. Then there are those who are doubtful, uncertain, skeptical; negative.
C. The contrasts considers that there are those who work with their prayers and those who are lazy prayers.
1. The busy man will make attempt to take care of his child’s request.
2. The lazy man will put off until the child finds out there is no since in asking.
3. The point then is that God know what we need, and is busy taking care of our needs, therefore v. 12 we ought to get busy with our prayer life to help others in their need for one day you may need their help. And isn’t this God’s providence at work?

IV. Thirdly, Jesus describes two kinds of travelers 7:13, 14.
A. The one takes the trail of ease, the path of least resistance. He seeks a comfortable highway, the road most traveled.
1. This highway is the highway to Sodom and Gomorrah, the Devil’s freeway.
B. The other path, we may term as Calvary’s road. The King’s highway. It often is a uphill climb, there are rocks along the way, branches will smack you in the face. It is narrow.
1. It is the path of father Abraham.
C. Jesus describes that every journey has a gate at the end of the line.
1. We see him illustrating distinctly the tale of two roads which lead to two different cities. At each city there is a gate though which the traveler must pass. As the traveler view the cities from a distance there is a glow emanating from both of them. One is of glory, the other of hell. From a distance you cannot tell which is which.
D. Imagine being on the broad path.
1. Everyone is traveling merrily along. They are in a trot. Everyone is smiling and happy because it appears that everyone is going some place grand.
2. Along this road there are detour signs.
a. The first says, “Mom and Dad would not approve, detour now!”
1) Old fogies! They’re stupid......
b. The second says, Danger! Hell ahead! Church this exit.
c. The third admonishes, This way to heaven! Bible land this exit.
d. The fourth and final exit merely states, for access to the cross exit now.
3. But the crowd must be right. They seem happy enough, moving fast enough. And then the end comes in sight. It is hell. You are close enough to smell the smoke and burning flesh. You hear panic cries ahead of you but you can’t stop, you can’t turn back for there are a host behind you, pushing you until you reach the city’s gate and tumble in with all the rest.

V. Jesus again talks about two kind of preachers 7:15-20.
A. The first is smart and sly. He is politically correct in his communication. He fancies your ears with stories which make you weep, jokes which make you laugh. They are wolves attired in sheep’s skin, demons dressed up like angels.
1. This kind of preacher tells his audience that everyone is going to heaven, just taking different churches to get there. There is nothing wrong with divorce. Worship God as you please, not as he directs.
B. The second kind of preacher, though not specifically mentioned, would be those who was not afraid to call sin, sin! Who takes a stand, politically correct or not. Who will preach Jesus rather than politics, doctrine rather than dogma, truth rather than fables.
C. This story reveals one valuable truth the world does not wish you to perceive - YOU CAN KNOW FALSE TEACHERS WHEN YOU SEE ONE.
1. Grapes of thorns or figs of thistles - you know the difference at a glance which is which. A healthy tree and a diseased tree. In an instance you know from which one you will pick the fruit.
2. You ought to know by now which kind of preacher you desire - one who tickles your ears or one which convicts your spirit.

VI. Then Jesus describes two kinds of workers 7:21-23.
A. One works for show, the other sincerely. One is motivate out of personal recognition the other works behind the scenes.
1. The one for show is identified in 6:2, 5, 16 - they have their reward - earthly applause.
a. This should be reason enough for any preacher to discourage his audience from clapping during his message. Soloist and choir seekers take warning.
B. What an awful day it will be for those who built in the name of another, who labored in the name of a denomination rather than Christ, who tirelessly toiled for an institution rather than the church of Christ.
C. But what is even worse is to see children of God gloating about their works on earth forgetting the basic truth - we still are only servants.

VII Finally, Jesus addresses two kinds of listeners 7:24-27.
A. The action words in this story are so vivid - built, floods, winds, rain beat, great fall.
B. The action word most important is “DO.”
C. Both men heard, both built, both suffered the raging storm, but only one survived.
D. The difference - one chose the high ground, the ground of moral integrity the other chose the well watered plains of Sodom and Gomorrah.
1. Sands shift, sink, become a mudslide. The torrents of rain coming down the gullies washed it away for it was built too close to the edge of the creek. He built his morals too close to the edge of sin.
a. Song - Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk Because of you, I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt.... DO YOU FEEL JESUS AND HIS CHURCH HAS DONE THIS TO YOU?
2. Rock does not give way. It is secure, safe, permanent. Christ Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the person when they begin to build their life.

CONCLUSION
Contrasts - Jesus used them to illustrate a point of those whom he seeks to be part of his kingdom. They are those who:
1. Profiles rationally not critically.
2. Who are full of faith in their prayer life.
3. Who are daring enough to take the King’s highway rather than the road well traveled.
4. They who listen for truth, even if it pricks their heart.
5. Those who don’t mind being a servant - not a showman.
6. And those who listened in view that every lesson has a message for them and not for someone else.

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