Summary: The Bible says we are ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador speaks for the one he or she represents. Are you speaking for the kingdom of God?
We’re going to begin in Matthew 4 but I want to read again, the first two paragraphs of a prophecy that Pastor read a couple of weeks ago. It’s title “Climb Higher and Believe Me.”
“I simply want My body to believe Me. I want those who are Mine, to take My Word as if they know nothing else, (Let me say that again, “as if they know nothing else.”) to place it at the forefront of their thinking and to believe Me. This is the life in the Spirit. My Words are spirit and they are life.”
“I desire My Word,” second paragraph, “to be primary in your thinking. Kingdom thinking includes refusing to receive thoughts and imaginations that do not agree with My Word and My ways. (This next sentence is really where my message is going tonight.) If something does not agree with My Word and My ways, I do not agree with it. Be challenged by these things and come up higher in Me.”
Recently, the special teams coach for a professional football team was suspended for three games for homophonic remarks he made to the team’s former punter. In a team meeting he said, (And ladies and gentlemen, this guy was a Christian.) “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”
“In this instance,” the team owner and president said, “the coach fell short of what is expected.” Now this is what I want you remember about this part of what I just read: The team owner and president determines what is acceptable speech and what is not acceptable speech.
“We will continue to hold all team members accountable,” he said, “and take the outlined critical steps to further educate everyone within our organization both individually and collectively.”
Educate them about what? How the team views the gay and lesbian community and how the team responds toe the gay and lesbian community.
The team also contributed $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups. The owner and president, and I’m going to use a word we use in church, “blessed” what he supported.
This is classic reputation management. Reputation Management says that everyone in the organization understands and is in agreement with the beliefs and values important to the organization and how those beliefs and values are to be communicated. That’s what reputation management is. Everyone speakers the same thing and everyone is on the same page when they are talking about the organization.
In this instance, the team told the world that what the coach said did not reflect the beliefs and values of the team. In other words, the coach does not speak for us.
The majority of Christians today are not speaking of the kingdom of Heaven. The beliefs and values we are hearing from the body of Christ today – God would say, “They do not speak for me.” Pick any subject you like – faith, tithing, repentance, same sex unions, healing, abortion, responding to authority – and you will see that what most Christians are saying is not what God would say.
There is a church in Denver that is now permitting those who profess to be homosexual and those who profess to be transgender to serve in leadership positions in the church. Now, based on what you know about scripture, is that church speaking for God? No.
Based on what I just described, is it possible, ladies and gentlemen, that a lot of children and young people that we see today are “speaking” – through their speech and actions – the reputation they have learned from their parents?
Turn to Matthew 4, verse 17. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Everything Jesus taught and everything He spoke established for the listener the kingdom of heaven’s reputation.
Let me read what reputation management is one more time. Reputation Management says that everyone in the organization understands and is in agreement with the beliefs and values important to the organization and how those beliefs and values are to be communicated.
And those who believe on Him salvation and eternal life are supposed to manage that reputation by teaching and saying the same things He said. If we are following Jesus, we do not have the liberty to teach and say something He wouldn’t teach or say. Are you with me?
Bro. Barry, why can’t we teach anything other than what Jesus would have taught? Remember I said earlier that the team owner and president determines what is acceptable speech and what is to acceptable speech?
God, in the kingdom of Heaven, determines what is acceptable speech and what is not acceptable speech.
Remember how I also talked about how the owner and president “blessed” the organizations it supported?