SermonsDiscover the Joy of Leaving Laodicea Behind
Consider these if / then passages:
“(then) Blessed are those (if) who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for (then) theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (then) Blessed are you (if) when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (then) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for (then) great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:10-12).
Yes, and all who (if) desire to live godly in Christ Jesus (then) will suffer persecution. (2 Tim. 3:12).
Which leads us to ask a few questions:
Question: Will you face persecution?
Answer: That depends.
Question: Depends on what?
Answer: On how committed you are to live Godly in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:12).
To find out more about persecution and the if / then passages, keep listening.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9 ). Which ponders the questions:
What is a peacemaker?
What does peace really mean?
And with whom does the peacemaker make peace?
Who is calling the peacemakers “sons of God”?
And what does this look like in real life?
Amazingly, the answer to these questions might very well change your world. To find out more, keep listening.
When we are overwhelmed with fear, it’s usually because our God is too small and our problems are too big.
Have you ever experienced a fear of Death?
Fear of the Future?
Fear of Failure?
Fear of Never Being Loved?
Fear of Pain or Sickness?
Fear of Financial Ruin?
Fear of Divorce?
Fear of Something Happening to My Children?
Fear of Being Victimized?
Fear of Getting Older?
Fear of Things Always Changing?
Fear of Trusting?
Fear of Confrontation?
Fear of the Death of a Loved One?
Fear of Satan?
If so, the reason for your fear is that your God is simply too small. Way too small. Tiny. Do you want to know how to change that? Then keep listening.
When we look at the teachings of Jesus, there are a few questions we must, at some point, ask ourselves. Consider the following:
Can Jesus’ words be taken at face value?
Does He really mean what He says?
And do the words of Jesus apply to me today?
All of them? Or just part of them?
And how can I tell which do and which don’t?
Or, were His statements and promises meant only for those who lived in New Testament times?
And again, how can I tell?
The answer to these questions will have a profound impact on how you understand the Sixth Beatitude. There Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, (why) for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).
The fifth Beatitude speaks of mercy. Jesus said:
Matthew 5:7 – “Blessed (makários) are (who) the merciful (those who show compassion, to be benevolent in both thoughts and actions; it is the word that emphasizes the misery with which grace deals), (why) for they (the merciful) shall obtain mercy.”
But mercy from whom?
This Beatitude does not teach that mercy to men brings mercy from men, but that mercy to men brings mercy from God. If we are merciful to others, God will be merciful to us, whether men are or not.
But there is so much more to this wonderful statement of Jesus. To find out more, keep listening.
At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said,
Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
And then we later find the Apostle Paul saying of Christ:
1 Corinthians 1:30 – But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
Are these two passages related? Has Christ really become for us true righteousness? And, if so, what does that say about what we “hunger and thirst” for?
To find out more, keep listening.
One of the most difficult statements to reconcile is found in the third blessing of the Beatitudes spoken at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount. There He said,
Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek, (why) for they (the meek) shall inherit the earth.”
But what does this mean? Does meekness mean weakness? Does it mean being soft and gentle? Somewhat effeminate? Cowardly? Maybe whimpy? And, if so, why does Jesus describe Himself as “gentle and lowly in heart”? (Matt. 11:29). How can that be?
Actually, Biblical meekness is nothing like we think of it today. And if you want to know more about what Jesus means when He says, “Blessed are the meek”, then keep listening.
One of the reasons the church is in the condition we now find it, is because many, if not a majority of those who claim Christ as Lord, are actually lost. They have their faith placed in something other than the true, Biblical Jesus. And their allegiance is usually to something other than Christ Himself.
But this really shouldn’t surprise us. For the mark of this church age is the simple fact that Jesus is on the outside of the church longing to come in. And His call is not to the group, the church, or the institution. It is to the individual.
Consider the following:
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, (what) I (Christ) stand at the door (of His church) and knock. If anyone (personal) hears My voice (John 10:27) and opens the door (of His church), I will come in to him (personal) and dine with him (personal), and he with Me (personal).”
Could this be you? Could it be someone you know? If so, then keep listening.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, (why) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). And a few verses later He adds, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, (why) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10).
Which raises a few questions:
What is the “kingdom of heaven”?
Is it the same as the “kingdom of God”?
And, if not, how is it different?
Why is Matthew the only Gospel writer that uses this phrase?
And how does this all apply to me today?
You will find the answer to these questions will change the way you live your life from this day forward. It will have a profound impact on your future and your eternity.
Are you intrigued? Interested? Maybe a little curious? Good. Then keep listening.
In the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus presents the Beatitudes that introduce His teaching about living in the Kingdom of Heaven. But there are some truths about living in His Kingdom that we sometimes forget. For example:
External things cannot satisfy internal needs. Got it.
And things are not always what they seem to be. Got that too.
True happiness and true blessedness cannot be found in a fallen, cursed world. Uh, if you say so.
Everything we see and touch in this world is temporary at best. I know, but let’s get all we can while we are here.
And if that wasn’t enough, in Matthew 5:4 Jesus said,
“Blessed are (who) those who mourn, (why) for they (those who mourn) shall be comforted.”
But that raises a few questions:
What does it mean to Biblically mourn?
What are we supposed to be mourning about?
And why is mourning a good thing?
To find out about the blessing that comes from Godly sorrow, keep listening.