Summary: Keeping the Gospel the Good News and impacting others
KEEPING IT REAL
In his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace, Philip Yancey tells the following story. He said:
A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick,
unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through
sobs and tears, she told me how she had been renting out her daughter – two years old! – to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit… I had no idea what to say to this woman. At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naïve shock that crossed her face. “Church!” she cried. “Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.” (Page 11)
“They’d just make me feel worse.” Things have certainly changed since the time of Jesus. You know, people like that were the ones who used to flock to Jesus. He was called a friend of prostitutes, tax collectors and drunkards. Oh my friends, we need to get back to the Gospel. We need to get back to the Good news. We need to keep it real. Turn with me please to Matthew chapter 7, as this morning we are reminded again of how to keep it real.
- Read Matthew 7:1-6
I. TRUTHS ABOUT THE GOSPEL
This passage begins with what is probably one of the most misquoted, misapplied verses in the entire Bible. It is quoted by folks who don’t even believe the Bible, usually when they’re ate up with sin. Judge not lest you be judged. There are those who say that means Christians are not supposed to judge. Hogwash!
In verse 6, Jesus says we aren’t supposed to throw what is holy in front of dogs and we’re not to cast our pearls before pigs. Some of you have wondered where that came from. Where there it is. Now let me ask you something. How are we supposed to determine who the dogs and hogs are if we don’t judge? In verse 15, Jesus tells us to look out for false prophets, and then tells us how we can spot them. To say that we are never to express or form an opinion concerning others would go against numerous passages in the Bible, and against the example of our Savior and the apostles as they continually exposed and corrected error and evil.
There are those who say that Christians cannot take a stand against wrong, because of this passage. To correct people means we are being unloving. O my friend, not to correct sin is a form of hated, not love.
Imagine if I went to leave the house this morning, with something on the end of my nose. Gladys would have to tell me to go wipe my nose. Why? Because she loves me and wouldn’t want me to go out like that. Or imagine that I’m getting ready to preach when Gladys notices my fly is unzipped. Love would require her to tell me, because she doesn’t want me to be embarrassed. Love requires the truth.
If Jesus is not commanding us to remain quiet, what truths do we learn from this passage?
1. There are hurting people in the world – 3-5
In these verses, Jesus talks about people who have specks or splinters in their eyes. Can you imagine how painful it would be to have a splinter in your eye? If I get a grain of sand or a hair in my eye it bothers me, but to have a splinter? Those people would be in pain.
My friend, I want you to know that there are hurting people all around us. Jesus Himself said in John 8:34 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. All around us are people trapped in sin they seem to be unable to escape. There are people trapped in materialism, drowning in a sea of debt. There are men and women who are no longer attracted to their spouses, because they’re comparing them to the internet pornography they’re addicted to. There are people killing themselves with food, because eating brings the only sense of peace they find during the day. Others are starving themselves to death, hoping if they get thin enough someone will love them. Some are abusing drugs, including increasing numbers of seniors, hoping to escape their pain and loneliness for a while. Oh my friend, all around us, inside and outside of the church, there are hurting people.
2. We are called to help them – v5