Summary: Today we look at keeping peace with others by not being a stumbling block and the way we do that is to work on our mature growth in Christ
11-20-2011 Do You Strive For Peace With Others? Romans 14:13-23 (Lesson)
We may need to put on our steel toe shoes again this morning...this is another lesson on " Let us not" ....in the past few weeks lessons..we have looked at.....let us not disrespect others.....let us not disrespect our government officials......let us not be known as one who can't be counted on....and so on.
Today we look at keeping peace with others by not being a stumbling block and the way we do that is to work on our mature growth in Christ.
Some Christians will tell you how to live your life and they don't even realize that they are turning people away from growing or sometimes cause some even cause some to turn from accepting Jesus.
Let me give you a couple of ensamples of what this lesson is all about.
If I told you that you have to come to church every time the doors open to be the Christian God intended for you to be and I even called you on Wednesday and reminded you to be there at 7pm and did the same thing Sundays....after a while wouldn't you get agitated?
By the way...I'm not here every time the doors are open.
Another illustration: We do things that others think that we shouldn't. Like buying a lottery ticket....the King James only...or any of our beliefs that would hinder our witness or hurt our relationship with our family or friends....we lose our temper and others see that and it turns them away...or they have doubts.
I believe that when we become a help to others and not a hindrance and an inspiration to others instead of a headache...then we began to grow in our Christian faith.
When I witness, preach, write articles, I never mention being a Baptist...I never mention about where I go to church...why because everybody doesn't believe like I believe....God judges our heart not our beliefs or religion.
We cannot live the abundant life Jesus promised us if we dont have the freedom of spirit and have a love and respect for and of others.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Paul is talking about here that..the Jews believe that they shouldn't eat certain meats...but, some were saying that God had bless the meat.....so they that were a new Christian said that it was unlawful in Gods eyes to eat certain meat....so what does the mature Christian do?.....they should not condemn them but go along with them until they learn themselves...we should not be a stumbling block.
We talked about this last week but, what are some other things we could do to be a stumbling block for others?
We should not judge others so quickly if they are doing something we don't agree with.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
People have feelings and because we are individuals we have different feelings and different ways they can be hurt...or aggregated.
We can say something to one person and not mean a thing by it and their feelings are hurt or say the same thing to someone else and they lose their temper.
Illustration: I could say...you need to read your Bible everyday...some might get mad and others get their feelings hurt because they don't have time to read every day and think...who does he is!.....more churches have split ....more feeling have been hurt and more friends have parted ways over the smallest thing.
That what Paul is saying here....the kingdom of God is not about what we think about eating a certain meat...it's about loving one another and accepting each other for who they are...because after all God saved them too.
Romans 14:19-21 (KJV)
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.