Summary: This sermon deals with Jesus teaching concerning forgiveness.
OCT. 15, 2006
LUKE 17 (quickview) 1-4 1Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3So watch yourselves.
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, A BASEBALL PLAYER GOT BEANED IN A GAME. HE ENDED UP INJURED, SERIOUSLY, MISSED THE REST OF THE SEASON, AND WHEN HE CAME BACK THE FOLLOWING YEAR, HE WAS NOT THE SAME PLAYER AS HE WAS BEFORE. HE ENDED UP TRADED TO THE DETROIT TIGERS, AND PLAYED FOR THEM. IN ONE OF THEIR GAMES, THE PITCHER WHO BEANED HIM, WAS SCHEDULED TO PITCH FOR THE OPPOSING TEAM. CHET LEMON WENT TO BAT, THE PITCHER THREW THE PITCH, AND CHET HIT A GROUND BALL. INSTEAD OF RUNNING TO FIRST BASE, HE WENT STRAIGHT TO THE PITCHERS MOUND, AND PROCEEDED TO FIGHT THE SAME PITCHER WHO HAD BEANED HIM. ALL THAT WAS ON CHET’S MIND THAT DAY WAS REVENGE.
JESUS SPEAKS TO US ABOUT THIS IN OUR TEXT THIS MORNING. LETS EXAMINE HIS TEACHING TOGETHER. LETS SEE WHAT OUR RESPONSE IS SUPPOSED TO BE.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES WE MAKE IS TELLING THE NEW CHRISTIAN, NOW THAT YOU HAVE MADE THIS DECISION YOU WONT BE TEMPTED. THE TRUTH IS, FOR THE NEW CHRISTIAN, SATAN WILL PUT YOU TO EVEN GREATER TESTS. HE DOESN’T WANT TO LOSE ANYONE. THE BIBLE SAYS, HE IS LIKE A ROARING LION, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR. YOU MAY THINK, WELL IF THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, THEN WHY WOULD I MAKE THE DECISION. HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS, ONCE YOU HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST, HE GIVES YOU EXTRA HELP TO RESIST SATAN.
YOU NOW HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT, INDWELLING IN YOU. YOU NOW HAVE THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD TO PROTECT YOU.
JESUS SAYS, THOSE THINGS ARE GOING TO COME. THEN HE ADDS A WARNING, WOE TO THE PERSON THRU WHOM THEY COME. WHAT HE IS SAYING HERE IS, DON’T CAUSE SOMEONE ELSE TO SIN, OR TO STUMBLE.
WHAT WE MUST REALIZE IS, THAT AS A CHRISTIAN, I HAVE FREEDOM, BUT MY FREEDOM DOES NOT GIVE ME LICENSE TO HARM ANOTHER, OR CAUSE ANOTHER TO SIN.
HE IS SPECIFICALLY SPEAKING TO THOSE WHO WOULD CAUSE A CHILD, OR A NEW BABE IN CHRIST, TO SIN. AS MATURE ADULT CHRISTIANS WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO NURTURE AND ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO ARE NEW IN THE FAITH. WE NEED TO GENTLY BRING THEM ALONG TO GROWTH.
ANNE AND I HAD A GUEST IN OUR HOME ON THURSDAY NITE. HE WAS A PAIN FOR PART OF THE EVENING. HE SCREAMED. HE DEMANDED. HE HAD NO PATIENCE. BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT, WE PUT UP WITH LITTLE ZACHARY, OUR GRANDSON. WE HAVE NO CHOICE IN THIS. WE PUT UP WITH INTERRUPTIONS, AND ALL THOSE THINGS THAT A BABY DOES. WHY? B/C HE IS A BABY, HE DOESN’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND.
JESUS THEN SAYS, IF ANYONE HARMS ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES, IT WOULD BE BETTER TO HAVE A MILLSTONE AROUND HIS NECK AND THROWN INTO THE DEEPEST SEA. THAT IS HOW SERIOUS WE ARE TO BE AS WE DEAL WITH CHILDREN.