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Robert Jeffress - The Crux Of Christianity

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Robert Jeffress - The Crux Of Christianity

Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to Pathway to Victory. The sermon on the mount seems to contain a sequence of paradoxes, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth", sounds completely backwards, doesn't it? Well, maybe from our point of view, but when you view things from Jesus' perspective, these statements start to make a lot of sense. My message is titled "The Crux of Christianity" on today's edition of Pathway to Victory.

Chuck Swindoll tells a great story about a couple that lived in New Orleans. The husband loved his wife desperately, but he hated his wife's cat. Some of you can relate. Every night he'd come home from work and that cat would curl itself around his leg, the cat would jump up in his lap while we were trying to eat dinner, at night, the cat would insist on sleeping at the end of the bed. One weekend, his wife had to leave town for a few days to go visit her mother. And the husband thought this was his big chance. So while his wife was gone, he took a burlap sack, loaded it with rocks, put the cat in there, went down to the Mississippi River and threw the cat and bag into the Mississippi River. He knew his problem was over.

Comes back home, Sunday night his wife returns from visiting her mother, and of course, the first thing she wanted to know was where was her cat? He said, "Well, I guess the cat ran away". She burst into tears. And so trying to console his wife, he said, "Look, I'll try to retrieve your cat for you", and so the next day, he put an ad in the newspaper, "$500 reward for missing cat", and he put his phone number in there. Of course, there was no response. That night, his wife again began to sob uncontrollably. And so he said, "Well, let me put another ad in the newspaper". So the next day he took out an ad, "$1.000 for missing cat", and put his telephone number. Later in the day, a co-worker said, "Hey, I saw that ad in the newspaper for the missing cat and I recognized your phone number". That sure is a lot of money to offer for a cat. The husband smiled and said, "When you know what I know, you can afford to be generous".

Some of you can't get past the cat in the river, I know that, but just try for a moment, okay? Jesus said something very similar in Luke chapter six, not about cats, but the message of Luke chapter 6 is very clear, "When you know what Jesus knows, you can afford to be generous in your attitude toward difficult circumstances and difficult people". And that's the theme of the message we're going to look at today. If you have your Bibles, turn to Luke chapter 6. We've come, in our study of Luke, to some of Jesus' most familiar words, we call them the sermon on the mount. And they're are some of Jesus most familiar teachings but also some of his most misunderstood words. He talks about love your enemies, turn the other cheek, and if somebody asks you for your coat, not only give them your coat, but your shirt as well.

And lot of people realize these words seem impossible to keep, how in the world can they apply in a world like ours today? And so I've noticed throughout the ages, people have gone to one of two extremes, when it comes to these words that we call the sermon on the mount. Some people say, this is a list of requirements of what you must do to go to heaven when you die. Now, if that's true, if Jesus was giving us a list of impossible requirements to keep, then Jesus was no better than the pharisees. Remember what he said about the pharisees, they tie up heavy loads on the backs of men so that they cannot enter into the Kingdom of God, the pharisees had all of these DOs and "DON'ts" that made it impossible for anybody to keep. So Jesus is no better then if he gives us this list and says, "This is how you go to heaven". I don't think that's what this is.

But other people go to the opposite extreme. In fact, it's the extreme that most evangelicals go to. And that is saying that these words have no application for our world today. In fact, I attended a seminary, one seminary, that taught that, well-known professor used to say about the sermon on the mount, that this has no application for today, this is the constitution for the millennial kingdom, and this is the way we're all going to act when we get into the millennium, but we can't do that today. Is that what Jesus is saying? Because I read these words, there's nothing to suggest that this is for some future generation. Jesus is talking about how we are to act as Christians, and yes, it's difficult. If you believe this world is all that there is, these commands are impossible to keep, there's no motivation for keeping them, if this is all that there is. But remember the theme, when you know what Jesus knows about the future, you can be generous in your attitude toward difficult circumstances and difficult people.

Now, before we get into the summary of the sermon on the mount, let's first of all, look at the setting for this sermon. That's key to understanding what Jesus is saying. Look at Luke 6:12, "And it was at this time that Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night in prayer to God". It was at this time that Jesus prayed up all night. Now, of course, the question is, what time are you talking about? Well, the answer's in the preceding verse, verse 11, "But they themselves were filled with rage and disgust together, what they might do to Jesus". The pharisees had been enraged by Jesus, what he was teaching, they decided we've gotta get rid of this guy, and so they were plotting to kill Jesus, Jesus is now aware that his time on earth is very, very limited, and at this time, he goes off to pray all night.

The Bible says there are only two things that are going to last for eternity, people, everybody's gonna live forever, some in heaven, some in hell, but people are eternal, and God's word is eternal. Thy word has settled in heaven forever. And if you wanna have a life that continues after you die, you're gonna spend your life investing God's word in the lives of other people. And that's what Jesus decided to do, he decided to instill his teaching in other people. And by the way, that's what discipleship is all about. Discipleship is spending your limited time on earth, helping other people be faithful followers of Jesus Christ, by instilling his word in them.

Remember what Paul said to Timothy, Paul knew his life was limited, and so he said to his young protege in II Timothy 2:2, "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also". Paul knew that the continuation of Christianity depended upon him having someone to carry on his teaching after he died. My friend Bill Spears, who is a member of our church, has a great saying I repeat it all the time, "Success without succession is failure". A wise CEO is one who realizes his time in the seat is limited, he better prepare for somebody who's going to succeed him. And that's true for us who are Christians.

Dr. Criswell used to say, all the time, I remember him saying this all the time, "Every civilization is only one generation away from paganism, every civilization, only one generation away from paganism". If we fail to pass on the Christian truth to the next generation, we become a pagan people. And that's what discipleship is, it is investing our lives and instilling God's word in the lives of other people. Of course, for those of us who are parents, our most important discipleship project is our own children, to teach our children to follow God and to imitate Christ. But our children aren't our only discipleship project, we need to be entrusting our faith to other men and women who will carry on the faith.

And that's exactly what Jesus did. Jesus knew his time was limited, he didn't have any natural children, but he decided to pass along his faith to 12 men who would be entrusted with the Christian faith to spread it throughout the world. And so he needed guidance from his Heavenly Father, "Which 12 men should I choose"? And so he goes and has an all-night prayer meeting for God's wisdom and making the right choice. Now, I could get real sanctimonious here if I wanted to, and I could say, "What is it you're so concerned about, that you've ever stayed up all night and prayed about"? I could do that if I wanted to, but I'd be a hypocrite, because the fact is, I have never purposefully stayed up all night to pray about something.

Now, I have had times when I couldn't go to sleep at night, and what I was so concerned about something that I would pray and then I would drift off to sleep for a little bit, and then I would wake up and start praying about it again, and drift off to sleep, many of us have had that experience, but honestly, I've not stayed up all night purposefully to pray. So I'm not gonna ask you that question, here's the question I am going to ask you, what are you so concerned about in your life right now that you would devote just five minutes a day to pray for? Is there anything in your life, your children, your work, the health concern of a friend or yourself, anything that you're willing to spend five uninterrupted minutes a day praying for?

Jesus knew how important prayer was, and so he prayed all night. And the result, verse 13, "And when day came, He called his disciples to him, and he chose 12 of them, whom he also named as apostles". Now, let me say a word, you might wanna write this down, about the difference between a disciple and an apostle. A disciple is a follower of a rabbi, a disciple is somebody who is so enthralled with a rabbi that he seeks to imitate, not just his words, but his example. To be a disciple of Jesus means to model your attitudes, actions and affections after Jesus, it means to love what Jesus loved, act like Jesus acted, think like Jesus thought in every situation. The simple definition I get a few months ago of a disciple is this, to be a disciple means for me to live my life, as Jesus would live my life if he were I.

How would Jesus operate if he had your job, that's what it means to be a disciple. But out of the disciples came 12 apostles, these are the ones who would be sent forth, a unique group, to proclaim the message of Jesus to the Jews and the gentiles. Now, I could spend sermon after sermon talking about these apostles, I'm not going to do that, let me just give you three observation about the list you find in verses 12 to 14, and you find the similar list in Matthew and Mark. Number one, the lists begin with Simon Peter, all three list of the apostles begin with Peter. He was the leader, but you know what, what's interesting, he was the greatest failure of all of the apostles. Here's a guy who denied Jesus, not once or twice, but three different times, he was a major screw up as an apostle, and yet Jesus chose him to be the leader, doesn't that gives you hope?

It doesn't matter how much you failed, what is in your past, God can take your mistakes, forgive them and redeem them. Peter is at the beginning of every list. Secondly, the list ends with Judas Iscariot. Iscariot, is comes from the Hebrew word, cariot is probably a derivation of kerioth, a town of Judea, Judas, the man of kerioth. We all know about Judas, he's the one who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and led to his crucifixion. Now, first reading, we have to think, "Well, why did Jesus choose Judas, did he make a mistake? Maybe Jesus should have spent even longer praying about the selection so he didn't make a mistake like Judas".

Now, all of this was a part of God's plan, Jesus chose Judas for a reason because Jesus knew God could use the evil in Judas' own heart to accomplish his purpose. I'm gonna say more about that in a moment. But God can take evil people, he can take evil circumstances that are used against you, and he can still use those for your good and his eternal purpose. The final thing I noticed about these lists is, they are comprised of young men. When we think about the apostles, we think about these old white guys with beards, and thinking the 60, 70-year-olds, no, most Bible scholars believe these men were probably in their late teenage years, early 20s at the most, when they were chosen to be apostles.

Now, having said all that, let's look at verse 17, verse 17 tells us that when Jesus descended to a plain, there was a great multitude of his followers there. And verse 20 says, "Turning his gaze on his disciples". What I want you to notice is, this message we're gonna look at for just a few moments is not a message for the unsaved, there is nothing in this passage that will tell you how to go to heaven when you die, there's nothing about God's forgiveness through Jesus, or the cross, or the blood of Christ, this was a message for his disciples, his followers.

You know what's interesting, Jesus was in the midst of relentless criticism from the pharisees, but Jesus did not spend his time answering the criticism of the pharisees. In fact, in this passage, Jesus doesn't try to answer the pharisees, instead, he invest his time with his disciples, his followers. And here's a great leadership principle that won't cost you anything extra, but I want you to write it down, here's a Mark of a true leader, a true leader doesn't invest his time with problem people, he invest his time with people with potential. Let me say it again, a real effective leader invest his time not with people with problems, but people with potential. He doesn't invest his time with people who are causing trouble and are upset all the time, he invest his time with the people who have potential.

You see that over and over again, the mistake of focusing your attention on people who just have problems. We see this in families, there's a problem child in the family, the parent devotes all the attention and emotional issue to this child with the problems and neglects the rest of the children in the family who have great potential. Or you see this in businesses, a business is all hung up on this one or two problem disgruntled customer they have and they forget all the potential customers they could be devoting their resources toward. You see this in a church, I see this time and time again in churches, a church has a little handful of disgruntled members, and the leaders of the church are focused on these disgruntled members.

"Oh, what did we do to offend you, or what can we do to make you happy"? And the pastor stands up, and he focuses on that little group, and he's just lambasting them week, after week, after week, forgetting that 99% of the people in the church are happy with the church, they're excited about what's going on, but he focuses on the few with problems. Again, a real leader is somebody who doesn't focus his attention on people who are causing problems, but people with potential, and that's what Jesus did. He focused this message on the ones who would carry on his faith, long after he had ascended back into heaven. And that brings us to the substance of the sermon, beginning in verse 20. Let me remind you, this is just a summary of the sermon on the mount. You find a longer version in Matthew 5-7 this is a short version of it.

Some people get hung up on that, "Wait a minute, pastor, why are the accounts different"? It's just a sumMary. In the English language, we have quotation marks, and in your text, it probably shows quotation marks. In the English language, quotation marks means this is a word-for-word exact quotation of what somebody said. In the Greek language, there were no quotation marks. This is an indirect paraphrase of what Jesus said. And that's why Luke emphasizes some things that Matthew doesn't, Matthew emphasizes something that Jesus doesn't, so don't get hung up on that, this is a paraphrase of what Jesus said. Now, having said that, remember the theme, when we know what Jesus knows, we can be generous, first of all, in our attitude toward difficult circumstances.

Let's just look at some of these, verse 20, "And turning his gaze on his disciples, he began to say, 'blessed'", literally, "'happy are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God'". Now, he's not talking about material poverty, there's nothing blessed about being poor financially, automatically, Matthew adds the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit", that is blessed, happy, are those of you who recognize your spiritual poverty. I like the way one commentator says it, "Blessed are those who realize they are spiritual zeros, for one day, yours will be the Kingdom of God".

Do you ever feel like a spiritual zero, you just feel like you're not succeeding in your Christian life, you know you ought to pray more and read the Bible more, but you just can't do it, and you don't react like you should, and you wish you could be better than you are? He said, "Relax, be happy, because one day that struggle you have in your Christian life is gonna be satisfied, yours is going to be the Kingdom of God". In verse 21, "Blessed, happy, are you hungry now, for you shall be satisfied". Again, another version says, "Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness", he's talking about a spiritual hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Do you ever wish we lived in a world where justice reigned, do you wish we had a world where there was no Dallas, or Baton Rouge, or terrorist attacks, do you wish there was a world in which evil would be overcome by good every time? That's what he's talking about, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for one day, you will be satisfied", one day the tables are going to be turned and God is going to right the wrongs of this world. He goes on to say, "Blessed, happy, are those of you who weep now, for you shall laugh".

There's nothing more painful than losing a loved one. Losing a loved one through death is painful, I've come to believe even more painful is losing a loved one through defection, their heart turns cold towards you, they desert you, they leave you. Many of you have suffered a loss of a loved one, either through death or defection. He said, "Blessed are those of you who weep right now for one day, eventually, you will laugh". Remember when you know what Jesus knows about the future, you can be generous even about loss. Verse 22, "Happy are you when men hate you and ostracize you and cast insults at you and spurn your name as evil for the sake of the son of man", verse 23, "For great is your reward in heaven".

Students, teenagers, do you ever feel like you're ostracized from the rest of the group because you wanna live for God? You ever feel like in your business, you've been passed over for a promotion because you won't bend your Christian principles? Do you ever feel like there's a division in your family between you and your mate or you and your children or you and your parents because of your Christian faith? That's all part of the price for living for Christ. But he goes on to say, "Great, one day, will be your reward in heaven".

Let me illustrate that truth this way. Let's say like many people, many families, you're just keeping your head above water financially. You're tryin' to meet monthly expenses, think about your kids' education, think about your retirement, and every month you're hoping you run out of month before you run out of money. You're havin' a struggle. It's tight. That's the bad news. The good news is you have an uncle who has left an irrevocable trust for you of $10 million that will be yours when he dies. The even better news is he's 99 years old. Now, what does that knowledge do for you? Does the fact that that trust has been set up, does it alleviate your day to day problems? No, it doesn't eradicate your problems, but it gives you a different perspective about your problems, doesn't it?

You know your problems are temporary. There's a great reward coming. That's what Jesus is saying here. Yes, your difficult circumstances are real and they're painful, but remember when you know what Jesus knows about the future, you can be generous in your attitude toward those difficult circumstances. You can also be generous in your attitude toward difficult people. Look at verse 27 through 30. "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you".

Now don't read into this what Jesus isn't saying about your enemies. He's not saying you have to hang around your enemies. He doesn't mean you have to have them as your best friends. He says love them, pray for them, do good to them. You know the best way to pray for your enemies is to pray God's best in their life. If they're your enemies and they're not Christians, pray for God's best that they would be saved. To love your enemies means to wish and pray for God's best in their lives. Goes on in verse 29 and says, "Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also".

Again, people misinterpret this. When he talks about people hitting you on the cheek, he's not talking about somebody threatening your life. In Jesus' day, part of the Middle Eastern culture was if you wanted to insult somebody, you would slap them on the face. It was a way of insulting somebody. He says, "Whoever takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, don't demand it back". Again, let's not go to extremes of what Jesus is saying or not saying here. If somebody cheats you out of money, is it ever wrong to try to get that back and go to court to try settle the issue? No.

In Luke 18, Jesus told the story about a woman who was being mistreated, a widow, and she went to a judge to seek relief for the mistreatment, the financial mistreatment she was experiencing. Jesus didn't condemn her for going to the judge, he commended her for going to the judge. Here's what I think Jesus is saying is, he's saying when somebody wrongs you, don't let it be the consuming passion of your life to get back what was taken from you. I can tell you from personal experience, a number of times somebody has cheated me out of money and I've allowed that to consume me for a period of days, weeks, and months, tryin' to get that money back, tryin' to right the wrong and it became an all-consuming possession and feeling in me. In none of those cases did I ever get back what was taken from me. What Jesus is saying is, "Sometimes you just have to take the loss and move on with your life".

Don't demand everything that is yours when it's been taken from you. Let God settle the score. That's what he's saying here. By the way, let me also remind you that these commands in verses 27 through 30, they are given to individuals, not to nations. Nowhere in the Bible is any nation told to "Turn the other cheek" when faced with mistreatment. Can you imagine after this tragedy in nice Thursday night, that terrible, what appears to be, terrorist attack? Can you imagine the French leader standing up and saying, "Well, we need to invoke what Jesus said and we just need to forgive and turn the other cheek". No, he would be run out office for saying such a thing. That is not God's plan for nations to forgive, to turn the other cheek.

I was on NPR radio a couple of weeks ago, doin' a debate and the guy I was debating with was a Christian evangelical professor of a well-known university. This professor said to me, "Pastor Jeffress, don't you want a leader for this nation who will govern this nation according to Jesus' words in the sermon on the mount"? I said, "Heck no, I don't want that kind of leader". In fact, any leader who says, "I'm gonna rule this nation according to the sermon on the mount", I'm gonna run as far and as fast from that candidate as possible because that is a perversion of the sermon on the mount. God never gave the sermon on the mount as a constitution for how a nation is to order itself.

You know in Romans 12, God says, "Do not repay evil for evil. Leave room for the wrath of God. 'For vengeance is mine, I will repay', saith the Lord". He's talkin' about how we deal individually with injustice. Leave room for the vengeance of God. Let God take care of it. Then in the very next chapter, Romans 13, he says, "For government is an instrument of God, designed by God to seek vengeance on evil doers". God's gonna take care of evil doers, the instrument he does it through, many times, is government. Don't confuse individual responsibility with governmental responsibility. This is for individuals. Jesus not only gave us an exhortation of how to treat evil doers, he gave us a great example in his own life.

Remember as he hung on the cross? 1 Peter 2:23 says, "While being reviled, he did not revile in return. While suffering, he uttered no threats, but he kept entrusting himself to the one who judges righteously". Jesus could have called 12 legions of angels, 36.000 angels, as he wanted to to get those guys who were doing him such evil. But instead he said, "Father", what? "Forgive them, for they know not what they do". He could've added, "But you know what you're doing through them".

You see that's how Jesus was able to forgive. First of all, he knew one day God would settle the score, he would judge righteously those who had done evil to him. But he also knew that God was working out his perfect plan in Jesus' life and using evil doers to do that. There's some of you right now who are just eaten up with bitterness over what somebody has done to you. You know the greatest key to forgiveness, I believe, it's realizing that nothing ever happens to a child of God that has not, first of all, passed through the perfect, loving will of God. Nobody is free to do to you whatever they want to do. God is sovereign. He's in control even if that person who has hurt you and wronged you so deeply. And he is able to take what was absolute evil that's been done to you and use it for your good and for his glory. That's why Jesus was able to say, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing, but you know what you're doing. You're working out your plan for the redemption of the world".

When you know what Jesus knows, you can afford to be generous in your attitude toward difficult circumstances and difficult people. Now, Jesus closes with three, quick parables about the importance of listening and acting upon his words in this message. First of all, a parable about sight. It's so easy to hear message like this today and say, "I know somebody who needs to hear this message. I'm gonna buy a CD for them. I'm gonna give 'em out 'cause I know people who"... No, this is a message for us, first of all. That's what Jesus says in verse 41. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do you not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye', when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye".

Again, don't misinterpret this verse like so many people do. They say, "Oh, well Jesus says we should never try to correct anybody involved in sin. That's judging, we're not supposed to judge". How many of you have ever had something in your eye, very uncomfortable? You know that feeling? A speck, a little... It's terribly uncomfortable. The most loving thing somebody could do would be to help you get that out of your eye. They would have to perform a judgment, first of all, to say what's in your eye is bad and it shouldn't be there. There's nothing wrong with that. Galatians 6:1 says if you see somebody who has been overtaken by sin, let those of you "Who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness". The most loving thing you can do for somebody who's caught up in sin is to help them rid themselves of that sin and restore them to a right relationship with God.

Just imagine, you've got this speck in your eye. You go to the ophthalmologist, "Doc, can you help me? I've got somethin' in my eye and it's just killin' me". The doctor says, "I'm sorry, I don't do that. I don't do that. I don't remove specks from people's eyes because that would require me to make a judgment and I don't judge anybody or anything". What kind of doctor would that be? I mean that's why he exists, to help people like you. But imagine you're sitting there and you're waiting for the ophthalmologist to come in and he walks in and he's got a two by four coming out of his eye. He says, "Let me see if I can help ya get this thing here", and you're ducking trying to miss the two by four, you'd want that doctor to take the plank out of his own eye first before he tried to perform a delicate operation on you.

That's what Jesus is saying. If you see somebody overtaken in sin, you need to help them. But before you can see clearly to help them, make sure you've dealt with unconfessed sin in your life, as well. Second parable is one about fruit. Verses 43 to 45. "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit". Imagine you have an apple tree in your back yard and it's producing delicious, red apples. What do you know about that apple tree? You know it's alive because it's producing fruit. However, if you go out during fruit-bearing season and there's no fruit, just dried up, withered limbs on that tree, what do you know about the tree? The tree's dead. Where there is no fruit, there's no life.

Now all of these things Jesus has said about loving your enemies, praying for those who do wrong, standing firm in times of trial, these are not the means by which we become a Christian doing these things, but they are the proof that we are a Christian. If we are truly saved and born again, our life will be producing the fruit that Jesus describes in Luke chapter 6. If there is no fruit in our life, it means there is no faith. That's why James said, "Faith without works is a dead, non-existent faith".

The third parable is a parable about construction. Verse 46, Luke 6. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord', and do not do what I say"? Jesus is not just interested in professions of faith, he's interested in the practice of faith. That's the thing you see over and over again. To illustrate that he gives this parable. Look at verse 47. "Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon a rock: and when the flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and he could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard my words and not acted accordingly, he is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation: and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great".

Two men, both building a house, both experiencing storms, that's what they had in common. But one house stood, the other house fell. What was the difference? It all had to do with the foundation. Jesus said, "The one who listens to my words and builds upon it is like the man who built his house upon the rock". Everyone of us here today is building some kind of life. We have a limited amount of time, energy, resources. You can build a life built around pleasure, recognition, material accumulation. That's a life built upon the sand and when the storm comes into your life, especially the storm of death that we're all going to face, nothing will remain. Or you can build your life around not just hearing, but applying Jesus' words.

You know I heard an illustration from Chuck Swindoll and then I later read it in a book by John Ortberg and I can't tell who stole from whom. I spent all week trying to tell who stole this from whom, I couldn't figure it out so I just decided to steal it from both of them. How many of you have ever played monopoly before? It was my favorite game as a child, monopoly. I used to play it with Julia and Dorothy too. You know monopoly, you get the board out. You have the little pieces you move around the board. You have all of this pretend money, the idea is to gain as much property as you can, build as many houses and hotels as you can, and extract as much money from your children as possible in the game and leave them frustrated.

It's lot of fun and at the end, whoever ends up with the most money wins. The problem is it's all a fantasy. None of it's real and eventually, everything has to be folded up and put back in the box. You know life is like that. We spend our time trying to accumulate recognition, pleasure, material assets. It's all a fantasy, folks. It's all a fantasy. Everything you've experienced, achieved, or accumulated is either gonna be burned up one day or left behind and you are goin' in the box and the only thing that remains is your relationship with God. Isn't that what the Bible says? "It's appointed unto everyone of us, once to die and then the judgment". The wise person is the one who understands that, hears Jesus' words, and builds his life upon it.
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  1. James Batts
    8 March 2020 19:26
    + +1 -
    You have presented a great sermon. I have frequently told people that they should not become what they hate. It IS very important to interpret passages of scripture in full context. Some passages relate to existential problems, others to public concern. I believe that salvation is private, a one on one encounter with Christ, whereas sanctification is public encounter, demonstrating the character of Christ - hard to say, and even harder to do.