Summary: What does this text say about accepting others in regard to their faith? 1- We must accept others who eat everything 2- We must accept others who observe sacred days 3- We must accept others without judging them
INTRO.- ILL.- A man said: I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said, "Stop! Don't jump!”
"Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?"
"Well ... are you religious or atheist?" "Religious." "Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?" "Christian."
"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist."
"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God."
"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God."
"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" To which I said, "Die, you heretic scum!" and pushed him off.
I do know that there are some within Christianity who are that critical, negative, and condemning. That is, if you don’t believe exactly as they believe then you won’t make it to heaven.
ILL.- A man died and met St Peter at the gate. Would you like a tour? asked Peter. Sure, said the man. Peter led the man down a long hall with many doors. They stopped at the first door and Peter opened it and said with a whisper, “These are the Pentecostals.” He closed the door quietly and went to the next door. Peter said in a whisper, “Here are the Baptists,” as he opened the door. Quietly Peter closed that door, and went to the next. The man was confused. Peter whispered and said, “This is the last one I’ll show you.” He quietly opened the last door and whispered, “Here are some non-denominationalists.”
Peter shut the last door, and led the man back to the pearly gate. He asked Peter, “Why did you have to whisper?” Peter replied, “Because each group thinks they are the only ones here in heaven.”
And I think there are many different Christian groups or churches who think they are the only ones that are going to heaven. But this is not what the scripture teaches.
Years ago, we of the restoration movement in Christianity who used to quote: “Where the Bible speaks, we speak. Where the Bible is silent, we are silent.” But even those words can be carried to extreme and cause division among Christians.
One of the better statements we have heard for many years is this: “We are not the only Christians but we desire to be Christians only.”
Another is: "We have no creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no name but the name Christian."
The point is: Who can we accept as our brothers and sisters in Christ and who can’t we accept? Let’s look at it from Paul’s perspective in this text.
PROP.- What does this text say about accepting others in regard to their faith?
1- We must accept others who eat everything
2- We must accept others who observe sacred days