Summary: For most of us, this commandment is one for our heart.
September 16, 2007 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: For most of us, this commandment is one for our heart.
Focus Passage: Exodus 20:13
Supplemental Passage: Mat 5:21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, ’YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ’Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ’You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ’You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
I. Anger inside
a. Sin of anger passed on to children
b. The fact of the matter is that unresolved anger in our hearts can spread to others
c. In his autobiography, “Number 1”, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend. Mantle’s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him. When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn’t let them hunt. "I’m so mad at that guy," Mantle said, "I’m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!" Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, "We can’t do that!" But Mickey was adamant. "Just watch me," he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule. As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. "What are you doing, Martin?" he yelled. Martin yelled back, face red with anger, "We’ll show that son of a gun! I just killed two of his cows!" Anger can be dangerously contagious. As Proverbs puts it, "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man ... or you may learn his ways" (Prov. 22:24-25).
II. Anger outside
a. Anger left unchecked at the “RACCA” stage will move onto the “YOU FOOL” stage, a much more serious level of anger! This level has already passed the accountability stage to men, it has moved to being accountable to God directly!
b. This is the level of anger that is actually planning to hurt to someone else; it is anger looking for ways to hurt others either emotionally or physically or both. Jesus clearly states that anger left unchecked to this level puts the angry person in a place that the fires of hell will itself be their reward.
III. Be angry, but do not sin. Eph. 4:26. GNB says Eph 4:26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.
a. Chris Carrier of Coral Gables, Florida, was abducted when he was 10 years old. His kidnapper, angry with the boy’s family, burned him with cigarettes, stabbed him numerous times with an ice pick, then shot him in the head and left him to die in the Everglades. Remarkably, the boy survived, though he lost sight in one eye. No one was ever arrested. Recently, a man confessed to the crime. Carrier, now a youth minister at Granada Presbyterian Church, went to see him. He found David McAllister, a 77-year-old ex-convict, frail and blind, living in a North Miami Beach nursing home. Carrier began visiting often, reading to McAllister from the Bible and praying with him. His ministry opened the door for McAllister to make a profession of faith. No arrest is forthcoming; after 22 years, the statute of limitations on the crime is long past. In Christian Reader (Jan/Feb 98), Carrier says, "While many people can’t understand how I could forgive David McAllister, from my point of view I couldn’t not forgive him. If I’d chosen to hate him all these years, or spent my life looking for revenge, then I wouldn’t be the man I am today, the man my wife and children love, the man God has helped me to be."
b. Mat 5:23 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, Mat 5:24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.