Summary: If we have a proper understanding of condemnation,we should be motivated to carry the life-giving message of the Gospel to our family, friends, and neighbors.
Opening Illustration: Last Wednesday (June 7, 2017) there was in Washington D.C. a Senate hearing for the Russell Vought, President Trump’s nomination for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. You may have seen or heard of this event on SPAN, but more likely on various Christian news outlets.
In the hearing, Russell Vought was repeatedly challenged by Senator Bernie Sanders for his Christian convictions and specifically quoted Vought’s statement that he made on his college’s website concerning his college’s stand (Wheaton College is in Wheaton IL is where Billy Graham graduated) stand on Islam on whether Islam and Christians worship the same God.
Here is the statement Russel Vought made:
"Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned."
Senator Sanders asked Vought: Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?
Vought: Absolutely not, Senator. I'm a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post, as I stated in the questionnaire to this committee, was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation, and
Sanders interrupts: I apologize. Forgive me, we just don't have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?
Vought: Again, Senator, I'm a Christian, and I wrote that piece in accordance with the statement of faith at Wheaton College:
Sanders: I understand that. I don't know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that all those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?
Vought: Senator, I'm a Christian ...
Sanders (shouting): I understand you are a Christian, but this country are made of people who are not just – I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?
Vought: Thank you for probing on that question. As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that as a Christian that's how I should treat all individuals ...
Sanders: You think your statement that you put into that publication, they do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned, do you think that's respectful of other religions?
Vought: Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly in regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.
Sanders: I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.(1)
This is a scary statement. Senator Sanders just said that any Christian holding to the tenants of the faith, is not fit for this country.
BTW, it is against Article VI of the US Constitution which states:
“but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
As I read comments made about this statement, many do not know what the fuss is all about. Sanders was right about what Russell Vought believes. The fact is whole groups of people, if they do not have Jesus, stand condemned and for that Bernie Sanders was deeply offended.
However, those statement made are true and factual. We covered this last week. Muslims do not worship the same God we do if for no other reason, they reject Jesus, and as we read,
to reject Jesus is to reject God.
The fact is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive to the world.
But that does not change the truth of the Gospel.
Without Jesus, the Muslims stands condemn.
Without Jesus, the Hindus and Buddhist all stands condemn.
Without Jesus, Senator Bernie Sanders stand condemn.
Without Jesus, our family, our friends, our neighbors,
our co-workers, our acquaintances all stand condemn.
We talked about condemnation last week.
Condemned to hell is a horrible and terrible thing,
and hell is eternal, there is no coming back once there.
We have been given the message of life,
life that is in Jesus and life that is Jesus.
To Have Jesus is to have eternal life.
To reject Jesus is to have enteral death.
What are we doing with the life giving message we have been given?
The background to today’s focal verses is the real story and message today. I will get to it in a minute.