Summary: “If your religion hasn’t changed your life, you’d better change your religion, because Jesus will make a bad man good and a good man better.”

Welcome and thank you for worshipping with us this morning on this Memorial Day weekend.

Keep Colossians 2 open before you, will you? It’s good to see many of you for the first time in months! And we are grateful for those of you continuing to worship with us online as well.

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Happy Memorial Day to everyone! Many of you know of someone who died during their service in the military. For some, this was your very children. Today, we express a small token of the rightful appreciation due to these men and women.

Let’s pray:

Father in Heaven,

We come before your throne on this day to remember the courage of people who stood against evil in foreign and domestic places. The uniform of our military is a reminder of the justice found in you, holy God. I pray your healing presence is with father and mothers, uncles and aunts, and sisters and brothers who have lost their family members in service to such great ideas of religious freedom. You never intended anyone to be forced into conversion for faith to you and you certainly desire everyone to have the right to know you in all nations. Father, may you bless us with the courage to stand against religious tyranny anywhere and everywhere. Will you give us brave men and women to boldly push back against evil dictators who seek to prevent people from have access to you and your word.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Today, the title of the message is, “How Do I Get Right and Stay Right with God.” What American is in bad need of right now are people who are right with God. American needs men and women of deep biblical convictions.

Today’s Scripture (Passage Read Before Sermon)

“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 1:16-23).

Everyone adopts a set of ethics, a system of right and wrong. You own your own set of right and wrongs. Everyone adopts their own set of ethics. For Winston Churchill, it was Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In 1941 Churchill wrote: “The more closely we follow the Sermon on the Mount, the more likely we are to succeed in our endeavors.” Churchill thought the famous sermon was the last word in ethics.

What’s your favorite vice? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus touches on red-hot anger, lust that leads to adultery, divorce, lying, revenge, and hatred. What’s that one vice that you turn back so often? The Puritans would call this your besetting sin. Hold that one vexing vice in front of you for the next few moments, will you?

Let me show you three people to avoid and in the end, one person to be. Evaluate which of these three you tried in the past and how they failed you.

1. Pedro, the Pharisee

You’ve probably known a jerk for Jesus at some point in your life. “Someone who thought they were advancing the cause of the kingdom when in reality they were simply embarrassing the King.”

The Pharisees made up extra rules and treated their rules as if they came from God’s mouth. Jesus told these group these damning words: “You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men” (Mark 7:8). On this Memorial Day, America needs people who have convictions but they need to be biblical convictions. Go back into Colossians 2 with me.

1.1 Therefore

Look with me at verse 16: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath” (Colossians 2:16).

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