Summary: We need to face our struggles and sins instead of throwing others under the bus.
• SLIDE #1
• WE are winding down our series of 8 Ways to be a bad Christian.
• Today we are going to look at the final issue in our series. This final way we can be a bad Christian is one that can be so damaging not only to ourselves, but to those around us as well.
• If we are not careful, over time we can get to the point where we forget where we came from.
• I do not want us to think that we need to sulk over the past, nor should we let the past drag us down, but one aspect of the past we need to remember is the fact we were at one time lost.
• There were occasions when Paul would remind his readers of this fact.
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 2:12 (ESV) 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
• Why are we trekking down this path? When we totally forget where we came from, we can easily gloss over the things we struggle with in our walk, and really come down hard on others who are also struggling.
• IF we are not careful, we can start making ourselves feel better by glossing over our sins and magnifying the sins of others.
• Today that is what we are going to look at as we finish up our series on “8 Ways To Be A Bad Christian” this morning.
• Let us begin by looking at Matthew 23:29-30.
• SLIDE #3
• Matthew 23:29-30 (ESV)29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
• SLIDE #4
• To be able to excuse our sin and yet condemn others, we first need to be able to make ourselves look good.
I. MAKE YOURSELF LOOK GOOD. (29-30)
• Here we have Jesus once again calling these men hypocrites. As Jesus peered into the eyes of their souls, He knew what was really going on in the inside of each of them.
• Now He is going after them for building tombs and decorating monuments of the righteous.
• Now once again, this sounds like a nice thing to do, but Jesus was not condemning the act, but the attitude.
• Continuing the imagery of the whitewashed tombs in 23:27-28, Jesus centered on the tombs of the prophets and the graves of the righteous.
• The graves of saints, prophets, and martyrs were revered. People even decorated the graves of those long dead who seemed worthy of such honor. Herod the Great built a marble monument at Solomon’s and David’s tombs.
• The veneration of the martyrs’ graves was ironic because these martyrs had, in most cases, been killed by the religious establishment of the day.
• The religious leaders would honor the memory of the dead by speaking well of them, praying near their tombs. Sometimes they would build synagogues close to their places of burial to honor them.
• Jesus knew what was really happening. Remember last week He called these folks whitewashed tombs; they looked great on the outside, but were full of dead men’s bones on the inside.
• These folks were all about appearances. If they looked good enough, all was right.
• One of my best friends in High school joined the army after school. He promptly went out and bought a killer looking 1982 Camero Z28. It was to die for. It looked spotless. The only problem, it was a flood car. The car was the biggest headache ever and later Chris got rid of it.
• If we are going to excuse our sin and condemn others, we must make sure we look good.
• When we get an overinflated view of ourselves, we too will start overlooking what we struggle with and magnify the sins of others.
• Matthew 7, Jesus had a word of advice for all of us.
• SLIDE #5
• In Matthew 7:1-6 (ESV) 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.