WARNING: This Sermon Contains Material That May Overcome Offense Series
Based on John Benere’s book, The Bait of Satan
Oct. 7, 2007 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A One time a church member came to me with some things that troubled him at our church & the direction the church was going under my leadership.
1 After 20 minutes to air his offense, I had an opportunity to respond
a I started quoting Scripture & was immediately told, "If you’re going to start using the Bible we’re done talking. You study/ know the Bible more than I do."
b My soul screamed, "This is the Church, the Bible is our handbook/manual, if its teachings don’t match with our traditions, then our traditions are what is in need of changing."
B Following Jesus, leading of the Holy Spirit, means there will be opportunities to offend people.
1 Peter was writing to the early church, who were following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
a The Jews had rejected a relationship with Jesus by relying on the regulation of the Law.
aa They were going to earn their salvation by following their traditions, regulations, rules, laws.
bb You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me ...John 5:39 (NASB)
b Jesus became "a stone of stumbling and a rock of OFFENSE" to those who wanted to hold on to their ideas of how church is supposed to be.
2 We picture Jesus as a shepherd carrying the lamb or holding the children (not the whole picture).
a Table-turning, name-calling (Pharisees: serpents, brood of vipers), harsh (let the dead bury their dead), Jesus who offended.
b Sometimes Jesus just got up in the grill of peoples’ souls.
aa Pharisees You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8 ’THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 9 ’BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ " 10 After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, "Hear and understand. 11 "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." 12 Then the disciples came* and said* to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?" 13 But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Matt 15:7-13 (NASB)
bb Hometown Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 "And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household." Matt 13:55-57 (NASB) Jesus didn’t shut up, spoke the truth
cc Family For not even His brothers were believing in Him. John 7:5 (NASB) Jesus was rejected by those closest to Him.
dd Disciples (ie. staff) Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? 66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. John 6:60-61,66 (NASB)
c Jesus was not seeking the approval of the Pharisees, His hometown, family, staff, or close friends...He wanted to fulfill the Father’s plan whether anyone else approved or not.
C Jesus offended John the Baptist. The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. 19 Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?" 20 When the men came to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ’Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’ " Luke 7:18-20 (NASB) John’s in prison.
1 Why does John ask if Jesus was the Messiah? (He above all should know)
a John prepared the way: "Behold, the Lamb of God..." "The One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit..." "Decrease", dove, what’s up?
b John prepared the way (preached, taught, center of things, not married, accused of being demon-possessed)-imprisoned.
aa Few guests or visits, many former friends now following Jesus.
bb Stories of Jesus’ ministry, miracles.
cc John begins to take offense: "The Man I did so much for has not even come to visit me. If He’s the Messiah, why doesn’t He get me out of jail?"
2 Jesus talks to the two disciples of John in Luke 7:21-23. At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 23 "Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." Luke 7:21-23 (NASB)
a "John, I know you don’t understand what’s happening with you & my ways, but don’t be offended because I do not operate as you expected I would. You don’t see the whole picture. You’ve done what’s been commanded of you. Your reward will be great...just stay free of offense with me."
3 You & I are not John, we will also fight to stay free from offense with Jesus at times (His ways are always higher than our own).
a If you’re going to obey the Holy Spirit, people will be offended by you.
b Jesus said in John 3:8, "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8 (NASB)
aa Not everyone will understand you as you move in the Spirit.
bb Don’t abort the flow of the Spirit for peoples’ approval.
c Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NASB)
aa When you live for the will of God, you will not fulfill the desires of men, & as a result you will suffer in the flesh.
bb Jesus didn’t offend lost people, Romans...He offended religious people!
cc People who thought they had God & His ways figured out, they were "in" with God.
d If Jesus offended religious people as He was led by the Spirit 2,000 years ago, those who follow Him today will surely offend, too.
A If we follow Jesus, leading of the Holy Spirit, we will offend people.
1 We proclaim Jesus as the only way to salvation, saved by grace through faith, denying ourselves & carrying crosses, taking an ancient text written by dozens, inspired by one omnipotent God, heaven, hell...yeah, we’re offensive!
a If anyone challenges the truth of the gospel; it’s time to be offensive without apology.
b We must decide today that we’re going to obey the Spirit of God no matter the cost.
c If we decide today, we don’t have to make the choice under pressure.
2 When others are offended by your living for Christ, how will you respond?
a Drinking? Sex? Marriage? Cheating? Lie? Gossip?
b How do you express yourself in worship? Ministry?
c Today, tell Jesus you will trust, love, obey Him.