Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Are the church house doors open to all or not? Do we, as followers of Christ, welcome everyone or not? Are we going to judge those passing though our doors, especially in time of death and the sorrow that surrounds that? Christ wants us to be includers

There’s the story of President Calvin Coolidge who was better known back in the 1920s when he was President of the United States (1923-1929), he was known as “Silent Cal” because he didn’t like to speak very often. This drove the reporters of that day up the wall. The story goes that he attended church there in Washington D.C. one Sunday morning and as he was coming out there was a reporter there who wanted to get a quote from the President. So, the reporter asked President Coolidge what the preacher spoke about that morning in church. Silent Cal, without batting an eye, said “Sin.” The reporter was taken aback by this but really wanted something to quote, some question that Silent Cal would have to answer at length. So, the reporter asked the President “Sin, huh? Well, what did the preacher have to say about sin?” Calvin Coolidge kept on walking and over his shoulder said to the reporter “He was against it.”

It’s a cute story but it does bring home a point; that we, most of us, anyway, are against sin. Whether you’re conservative in your outlook or liberal in the way you view the world, we don’t like sin and we’re against sin.

We don’t like it when people break our laws whether they’re God’s law or our government’s law. So, we all work hard to keep “the law.” Whether it’s going to jury duty or not littering, I love what we have here in Texas “Don’t mess with Texas” or obeying President Bush, as the commander in chief of the armed forces and going to Iraq for the 2nd and 3rd time whether you want to or not.

But there’s the law and there’s the spirit of the law. What’s behind a law. Why do we have this law? The scribes, the lawyers, the Pharisees never looked at the spirit of God’s love, only the words of the law itself. And so they missed the message of love and inclusion Jesus came to give us.

There’s a church over in Arlington that a few weeks ago refused to bury a gay man. At first the church officials said they would because, although this man wasn’t a member of the church, the church’s custodian was related to the dead man. Then they found out he was gay and decided not to have the funeral at the church. Since then there’s been a debate going on.

It’s a worthy debate. Just who can have funeral services in church? Do we as church members have a right, indeed an obligation to stop a sinner, or anyone for that matter, from being brought to a church one last time before burial?

That this man was gay and his family and friends were going to celebrate his life and mourn his passing in their own way seemed to be an impediment to this church and many Christians, followers of Christ, those who sometimes call themselves “In Christ.”

Are they confusing living to dying? That is, if living a life of sin will keep one from the Kingdom of Heaven, when we die, is that different?

It seemed to be to Jesus Christ. Paul wrote about what is a sin and homosexuality was just one of the many sins Paul listed. But listen to the list of sins. In First Corinthians, chapter 6 verse 9 Paul writes

Do you not know that wrongdoers ( or the wicked) will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

That’s a long list…fornicators are those that have sex before being married. Anybody out there guilty?

Idolaters are those that worship something in addition to God, such as many, many people here in America and around the world who worship wealth, a big home, a fancy car, position and power over others. Many millions who call themselves Christians fall into this category. Anybody out there guilty?

Then Paul says adulterers…!....these are the people who have affairs while married, I’m not going to ask if anybody there is guilty of that!!!

like the former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich. Funny thing is, here’s the 2nd in line for the presidency should anything happen to the President and he was having his affair with his secretary while impeaching President Clinton for sexual misconduct!

Male prostitutes have to do with temple worship in the olden days believe it or not. Sodomites are homosexuals who have sex with other men. Thieves and robbers are self explanatory. Drunkards are those who drink to much of course. Many go to AA meetings but some fall off the wagon. And the greedy, oh yeah the greedy. Those with a lot who won’t share what they have. They feel they earned what they have, not that God has blessed them with worldly wealth but that they did it all by themselves. And Revilers are slanderers, those who gossip or lie about someone else. Anybody out there guilty of that?

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