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
3- We must accept others without judging them
I. WE MUST ACCEPT OTHERS WHO EAT EVERYTHING
1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
ILL.- A preacher friend of mine wrote these words on facebook: Just read in my devotions today: “One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables” (Romans 14:2-3 ). I think it was God's way of sending me to McDonald's for a sausage and egg McMuffin.
Does your faith allow you to eat at McDonald’s? And does your faith allow you to eat a sausage and egg McMuffin at McDonald’s? Or are there only certain things that your faith allows you to eat?
ILL.- Elaine’s daughter said they were coming to our house for Thanksgiving, but she called her mother and said, “I don’t want any tofu turkey!” Have you ever heart of tofu turkey?
Tofu is a soybean product (or made from soybeans) and it’s what many vegetarians eat and Kim knows that her mother has eaten only vegetables for many years and there is such a thing as tofu turkey! I personally don’t think it sounds very tasty! I prefer the real thing.