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Robert Morris - Condemnation


Robert Morris - Condemnation
TOPICS: Robert Morris: Good News, Repentance

Alright, so I'm going to begin a new series for four weeks called "Good News". And we're going to talk about good news, and obviously we're going to talk about the good news of the gospel, but we're going to go in depth in a way that maybe you've never done it in four specific areas. In other words, I'm going to take four words that without Christ are bad news, but with Christ, these words actually become good news. Everything changed when Christ came. And so the first word, and I'm just titling the message this, so this doesn't sound like an exciting title. Let me go ahead and tell you that. But the title of the message today is "Condemnation". Isn't that great? But it will turn out good news.

But when I begin a series, just so you know, about the first half, sometimes the first two thirds of the first message is building the foundation of the series. So we won't even get to the word condemnation until the third point, but we're going to talk about good news. If there's ever a time when the world needs good news, it's right now. I mean, it's nearly all bad news. You know, you can't hardly just go to a browser without seeing bad news. The news doesn't even seem to be the news anymore. They could just rename it, "Bad news". And it seems all slanted. Whether it's conservative or liberal, it's all slanted. And it seems to be that a lot of news channels are just a bunch of arguing. Have you noticed? I mean, I can't even watch any more. I'd like to just know who won the gold medal, please. I'd like to know the news, but I don't want four people just arguing about something. It's just crazy.

Now, when I was growing up, there was a news man. Now, granted, I did not like the news when I was a child. I didn't watch the news unless I had to, and didn't listen even when I did, but there was a news man, a news anchor when I was a child named Walter Cronkite. Does anyone remember Walter Cronkite? Okay. He was called, some of you might remember this, "the most trusted man in America". You know why? Because he simply told you the news. He didn't tell you his opinion. He just told you the news. And so you could watch the news without all of the junk that's in there today. Well, we need good news. You turn on social media, internet, television, whatever it is, it's bad news every day. And anything that happens that is bad, they want you to know about it. And so that's all they tell.

So I'm going to tell you about the good news. And I want you to know that when the good news came in this world 2000 years ago, that what we call the good news is even gooder than you think it is. It literally changes everything. And all the news you receive, if you will filter it through the good news, it can change it all because the good news changes everything. So we're going to start, three points. Number one, What is the good news? Well, the good news, we get that word from the word "gospel". The word "gospel" literally means "good news". So anytime you see the word gospel, just for a while while we do this study, will you put the words, "good news" in there. For instance, Mark 1:14, "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the [good news] of the kingdom of God," Did you see it? Instead of "preaching the gospel," let's take the definition, "preaching the [good news] of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled...'"

Boy this is just, this is amazing. The time they had waited for since the fall of Adam and Eve, 4,000 years. The time is now, "'...and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent...'" By the way, that's one of the words we're going to talk about that people think is a bad word, but it's actually a good word. "'...and believe [in the good news] in the gospel.'" I just want you to just think about Jesus brought good news. He did not bring bad news. He did not say, "Repent, for hell is at hand". He said, repent, change the way you're thinking, because heaven is at hand, the kingdom of God is at hand. He has sent me to announce and to proclaim good news. Everything he did was good news. So, the Greek word, which I know all of you want to know, and I'm going to actually show it to you on the screen later, so you can get your pens ready, but the Greek word is euangelion. I know it's a little bit bigger, and we'll talk about it.

Euangelion, that's the Greek word for gospel. There are two nouns and one verb. One refers to the news itself. "Good" would be the adjective. In other words, the news is good news. It's news, and the type of news it is is good news. So one of the nouns refers to the news itself. One of the nouns though refers to the messenger who brings the good news, which we're going to focus in on. And then there's a verb, which means to tell the good news, which is where we actually get our word "evangelist". One who tells the good news is the evangelists. So with Greek... God chose for the New Testament to be written in Greek. It was written in Koine Greek, which means common Greek or conversational Greek. And with a lot of these Greek words, I've shared with you a lot about the background would be a military or an athletic term. This has a sense of a military because it comes from the king and it's about battle. But an euangelion is actually a messenger who brings good news from the king, and that was his only job.

And this is the term that God chooses to put in the Bible to describe the gospel. It is the messenger who never brings bad news. When he shows up, his only job is to bring good news. Let me actually show you an example of this in the Old Testament. This is just an example of it, alright? 2 Samuel 18:27. "So the watchman said, 'I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok.' And the king said, 'He is a good man, and comes with good news.'" He's an euangelion. He's a good messenger. That means when he gets here, he'll have good news. So there was this specific messenger. He would show up and go around from village to village. They had no internet. They had no email. So the messenger would come and say, "The war is over". And he would go from village to village.

In other words, your warriors, your family members are going to be returning. He might show up and say, the king is coming to visit your village, your city, your town. He might show up and say, Your taxes are being lowered. He probably never did, but let's all hope that we have a euangelion one day that comes and tells us that, but I doubt it. But anyway, that was his thing. When World War II ended, and I just want to let all of you know, I had a birthday over the, my vacation. It was, people tell me, a significant number. I think they are very insignificant people that told me that though. But my grandkids asked me a lot of questions. One asked me if I was one of the disciples with Jesus. Okay. So, but I'm going to tell you something that happened when World War II ended, but just so you know, I was not alive at that time. Alright?

Okay. But the television was very new. Not many people had televisions. Most had radios. There was no internet. There was no way. So messengers went from town to town, and you've seen this in movies. "The war is over. The war is over". And celebrations broke out. Family members are coming home. This is a euangelion. A person that only brings good news. Now here's something I want to tell you about the gospel. The gospel is good news. First of all, you need to understand, Christianity is not a religion. It is classified by people as a religion, but it is not a religion. It is a relationship with Christ. That's very important, but for the sake of argument or for the sake of understanding this, I'll classify it as a religion.

But Christianity is the only religion that has good news. Study them. No other religion has good news. It's all bad news. You want to know why? It's all what you have to do to get to heaven instead of what's already been done for you so you can go to heaven. It's totally different. By the way, the reason that I say Christianity is not a religion. Religion is man's attempt to get to God. Christianity is God's attempt to get to you. So it's totally different. And even, now they've adopted no religion. Did you know there's the religion of no religion. How's that good news? How is it good news that we're only metaphysical and when we die, there's no afterlife. How's that good news? How is it good news that things only happen by chance? How is it good news there's not a God who loves you and who is orchestrating things in your life for your good? How is that good news? That's bad news.

What good news is is that there is a God who loves you and he sent his Son to die for you on the cross. That's good news. And this messenger, this Greek word that God used to describe the messager. The gospel is a messenger who only brings good news. Only. Now, on this earth we sometimes get to deliver good news to people. Sometimes we have to deliver bad news. Sometimes we have to say, "There are cutbacks in the company and your job's being eliminated". We have to bring some bad news. Or doctors sometimes have to bring bad news. They're not doing it to hurt you. They're doing it to help you. They're telling you the truth.

When I went through my health crisis a few years ago, Debbie and I've talked about things since then, and she said, you know, the thing that I was looking for the most after the surgery, the surgery was supposed to be so many hours and it kept going and going and going and going after the first one. But she said, the thing that I was looking for was when the surgeon who was a friend of ours, when he came out, I was looking at his face. Think about surgeons, and we love medical professionals, but think about sometimes they have to come out and give bad news, and sometimes they have to give good news. And after that first surgery, she said he gave good news that the surgery went well, but there was concern on his face. And we've talked to him since then, and he was very concerned. And then less than 24 hours, they had to do another surgery, which was a very, very major surgery. She said, but when he came out the second time, his face was different. He was delivering really good news. In other words, we've now found the extent of the problem and we fixed it.

Now, one of the reasons they did was this, cause the second time they just, I have a beautiful scar. It's gorgeous. And they just opened up and moved everything around and found what was the problem. You know? And then they actually, they stapled me back up. I didn't even know that that was a thing until I found out about it. I don't know if they went to Office Max or what, then they just got... But I had like 39 staples where they stapled me. And a week or two later, I don't really remember the timeline. I just remember, you know, going to get the staples out. And he said, we're gonna take half out this week and half next week. And I said, you know, are you going to put me under for that? Oh no, it's just a minor procedure. Okay. A minor procedures is any procedure not being done to you. That's what a minor procedure is.

But then I remember, 'cause here's what I remember about that and I remember the surgeon, who's friend of ours, saying to Debbie, "Do you want to watch"? And she says, "Yes". How sick is that? I mean, the doctor and my wife, sick people. If they want to watch him pull staples, you know, he pulled these staples out. Okay. So let me just take a little poll. How many of you, if they're doing a procedure to you or to someone else, how many of you can watch it, and you're okay with it? Can I see your hands? How many of you, you cannot watch it because, and you might even pass out? Okay, you, you are the normal people. It's sick to want to... Okay, so think about the surgeon coming out and he's got good news. What's the good news? The good news is the gospel, that Jesus died for you, was buried, and rose again. Okay. But remember I said, it's a messenger?

So here's point number two, Who is the messenger? And this might surprise you because you might think we are the messengers, but we're not the messenger. Let me show you the Greek word now that I said. This is the English transliteration of the Greek word. Euangelion. You see that? Euangelion. Here's the reason I wanted to show it to you because I'm going to break it down and look right in the middle of this word. Do you see that word? Anyone recognize that word? Angel. The Greek word for angel is angelos. And it means messenger. That's what it means. Do you remember that the Bible refers to angels, but in the Old Testament it refers to "the Angel of the Lord". And when it's all, when it says "the Angel" it's referring to Jesus. Jesus is the messenger who brought the good news.

Remember I told you the word evangelist, we get our word evangelist. Here's the word evangelist, and then look at the word evangelist there. And then break that one down. Is that the same word? Yes. Alright, see the word again, angel? So an evangelist is one who brings good news. I've told you before, I was an evangelist in my, before I was a pastor, and Mark Jobe, one of our pastors, his daughter is Kari Jobe Carnes, the worship pastor, she and Cody lead worship, you know, all over the country and the world. And so Mark, my age, and he traveled and did crusades as well. And one of the crusades when Mark and I were younger, a lot of young people would get saved. And in one of the crusades, he's talking to these young people afterwards that got saved. And this young lady said, my boyfriend was not here tonight. She's asked Mark, would you call him and share what you shared with us? In other words, she's saying, "would you share the gospel? The good news"? So he said, "yeah". So he calls this guy on the phone.

Now, remember this guy has never been to church, you know? Never read the Bible. And Mark said to him, "Hi, I'm Mark Jobe". He says, "I'm an evangelist". And the guy says, "What the blank is an evangelist"? Well, that's a good question for a guy that's never been to church, you know? Well, what it is is a person who brings good news. But what I want you to understand about this is that it's Jesus. The reason is because I think we have it confused, because sometimes we call books "Gospels". We call Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John gospels. Right? Now, nothing wrong with saying that. The Gospel of Matthew. But what that means is the story of Jesus told by Matthew. They weren't. The first four books of the New Testament were not called gospels until the second century. We think that they were called gospels because of Mark 1:1. Mark 1:1 says, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God". The beginning of the gospel.

So again, hear me. I'm not, I'm not putting down the Bible at all, but the gospel is not just the story of Jesus. The gospel is Jesus. In other words, the gospel, the reason I showed you the word angel, the reason I told you it's a messenger is I'm telling you that God himself became the messenger and came. And because of this, I don't just have the story that Jesus came. I have Jesus. This is very, very important to understand.

Last night, not long before we went to bed, I got a bad report about two friends of mine. In other words, one was going through difficulties with his church and the other has been hospitalized for COVID. And it's right before I go to bed. And so I'm lying there in bed and I'm just thinking, "I just, Lord, I just can't handle this. I can't handle this. I pray for them. I want you to help them. I want you to touch them. But for me to just go to sleep now, I'm disturbed. I'm upset about my two friends that are going through such difficulties". And so I told the Lord, "I just have to give you this burden because I can't carry this burden". And I went right on to sleep and I woke up this morning and I thought about them, but the burden wasn't there. I still had concern. I still prayed for them, but the burden wasn't there.

So here's what I'm telling you. Last night, I didn't need the story that Jesus came to earth. I needed Jesus. I needed the great physician. I needed the shepherd who causes me to lie down in green pastures. I needed the one who causes me always to triumph. I needed the one who is the conquerer. I needed the King of kings and the Lord of lords. That's the gospel. Jesus is the good news. So, talked about who the messenger is.

Here's point number three. What's the message? So again, we're going to take four words and the first word is condemnation. So I'm going to show you how this is a bad news word without Jesus, but with Jesus, he actually makes the word condemnation a good word, a good news word, I should say. The word condemnation comes from the word damnation. Here in Matthew 23:14, Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation". In the Old King James, it says "You shall receive the greater damnation". Mark 3:29, Old King James, "He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation". So all the newer versions use the word condemnation, but the word condemnation comes from the word damnation.

So what does damnation mean? Or what does condemnation mean? It means a death sentencce. That's what it means. And when he says don't blaspheme the Holy Spirit, it doesn't mean that you say something negative about the Holy Spirit. What it means is that the Holy Spirit is the one who draws you to Christ, reveals Christ you, and when you speak against or stand against the Holy Spirit drawing you to Christ, then you're in danger of eternal damnation, eternal death, eternal separation from God. So it's a death sentence. That's what condemnation means. Now how in the world does Jesus turn that into a good word? By the way, if you have a habit of damning things, stop it. Why would you ever damn your marriage, or your spouse, or your checkbook, or your retirement account. I just, I'd just stop, I would stop putting the word damn in front of things that you don't want a death sentence over. Is that okay to say that?

And so, and by the way, if some of you would like to nudge someone besides you, you can. It alright. And don't ever ask God to damn it. That wouldn't be good either. So, but it means a death sentence. So what happens? How does this word "death sentence" completely change when Jesus comes. You remember the woman at the well? He says to her, I mean, not the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery. You remember what he says her? Where are your accusers? Does no one condemn you? In other words, Does no one give you a death sentence? She said, No one. Here's good news talking. Neither do I. I don't give you a death sentence either. Let me read you another one. John 3:16, most famous verse in the Bible.

Look at John 3:17 "For God did not", I love the words did not here, "did not send His Son into the world". Watch this. Let me say it this way: to give the world a death sentence, "but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in him is not [given a death sentence]; but he who does not believe [already has a death sentence.]" God didn't come to give you a death sentence. You were born with a death sentence. The good news comes to remove the death sentence. But he's already condemned because he's not believed in the name of the Son of God. Here's a really good one. Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no [death sentence] to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit".

There's no more death sentence. This is a word that is bad news. We were born with a death sentence. The good news comes in the world and there's no more death sentence for those who believe. And that's all it is. That's why I say Christianity, the only religion in the world that has good news because it's not that you hopefully you're good enough one day. So Romans 8:1, by the way, starts with no condemnation. You remember how the ends don't you? It ends with no separation. Verse 38. "I'm persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come", that's kind of including everything, "nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".

Romans 8, Romans 8 starts with no condemnation and ends with no separation. I mean, you talk about good news. It's gooder than you think. I mean, that's good news. That's really good news. No condemnation is the glory of the gospel. No separation is the guarantee of the gospel. Here's the good news. Jesus shows up when every religion to the world gives bad news and every religion in the world tells you what you have to do to go to heaven, here's what Jesus does. He shows up and says, Um, I'm the way. I'm the way to heaven. They say, well, tell us what we've got to do to do the works of God. Believe in me. Accept me. Receive me. That's it. That's pretty good news. Okay.

So just for a moment, condemnation. Let's wrap it up here. You're in court, and God's the judge. And if you've ever done anything wrong, you're condemned to eternal death, if you've done anything wrong. And so they don't even have to play the full video of your life to find out you've done things wrong. And so God raises the gavel and he's about to pronounce the death sentence over you. And then Jesus steps up and says, "Father, I'll take her sentence. I'll die for her". And the Father says, "Do you want to receive this"? Now you might even say, "Well, I don't want Jesus to have to die". Here's what he would say. Well, he already did. He's already done it. He already took your sentence, but it's up to you whether you'll receive that or not because you have a free will.

So would you like to receive what Jesus did for you? When you say, "Yes, I'd like to receive it". Here's what I want you to understand. He hits the gavel and this is what he says. Okay. Then you are sentenced to eternal life. You are sentenced to eternal life. See, the bad news is you're born sentenced to eternal death. The good news is you're born again, sentenced to eternal life. You're sentenced by God, through Jesus Christ to eternal life. That's the good news. And that's just the first one. We're just getting started. I'm just telling you that the good news changes everything. The good news takes all the bad news and filters it and changes it, so that all these words that were very, very bad news for us as sinners, everything changes because a person, a messenger, the messenger came into this world and brought the good news.

I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes. And I want you to, just for a moment to think about no condemnation and how many times we condemn ourselves. And yet the Bible clearly tells us that Christ took our condemnation. It says this in Romans 8, that I just didn't have time to read. Who is it that condemns God's elect? Who could condemn God's elect, because it's God that justifies. I want you to know it's not based upon whether you've done more good than bad. It's not based upon whether you had a good week this last week or a bad week, whether you did everything you think you should have done, or most of the things, or whether you actually blew it big time this last week. It's based upon, will you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Will you receive the messenger sent from heaven who brings good news, and the good news is, I am the way, the truth, and the life. The only way you come to Father is through me. I just feel like that I need to give some of you that opportunity right now, that you just right now need to tell the Lord:

I've tried and tried and tried and I've just blown it and blown it and blown it. But I think I'm getting it. And so I receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I receive what Jesus Christ did on the cross for me. I receive your Lord.


So whatever you need to tell the Lord. We say every week, what's the Holy Spirit saying to you? So I just want you to just tell the Lord:

Lord I receive what you're telling me through this message. Lord, we want to tell you, Thank you, thank you, thank you. Not just for the news that's good, but for the messenger himself that came from heaven and lived the life that we could not live, and died the death that we should have died, and rose again so we could have new life in him. So Lord, we tell you, Thank you. Thank you for the good news. Make it a reality in all of our lives, in Jesus' name, amen.

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