Summary: A sermon on God’s love for us and how we should show it to others.
I want to look at love today and as Christians how do we represent what love really is.
Turn to Romans 2:1-3 and mark that passage.
We are going to start with Matthew 7:1-5
A recent poll done by the Barna research group showed that only 1 out of 5 non-Christian young adults say they consider the church to be a loving environment.
And for un-churched youth that number is even lower.
Why is this?
People on the outside looking in at Christians consider us hypocritical and judgmental.
Because a lot of the time we are.
The word hypocrite comes from an old Greek word that refers to the wearing of a mask.
In fact the definition of a hypocrite is “One who puts on a mask and pretends to be what he is not.”
The Bible warns us about being a hypocrite, in fact in the King James Version the word hypocrite is found 20 times.
What about being judgmental?
Well it goes hand in hand with being a hypocrite.
Matthew 7:1-5 says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ”
Romans 2:1-3 says, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? ”
We get so tied up in our little religious lives that we can’t see all of the sin in our own lives.
87% of young non-Christians ages 18-34 say that the term judgmental accurately describes present day Christians.
And we wonder why we don’t attract young couples in our churches today.
Dr. W. A. Criswell, was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX, for many years. One day he was talking to his son and said that if he ever had a moral lapse in his life and it caused him to sin, that He hoped that no-one in the church would find out, because according to Dr. Criswell, “Christians are the most unforgiving and judgmental people on the face of the earth.
We set in our pews and in our homes and judge people, we go to Walmart and judge people because of the way people look or dress.
An author by the name of Phillip Yancey once said, “Having spent time around sinners and also around self proclaimed saints, I have a hunch why Jesus spent so much time with the former group: I think He preferred their company. Because the sinners were honest about themselves and had no pretense, Jesus could deal with them. In contrast, the saints put on airs, judged him, and sought to catch him in a moral trap. In the end it was the saints, not the sinners, who arrested Jesus.”
Jesus had compassion on people.
The word compassion comes from two Latin words, cum and passio
The word cum means “with” and the word passio means “to suffer.”
So the word compassion means “to suffer with.”
Jesus had compassion because He understood people’s problems.
He loved them despite their problems and hang-ups.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NLT) tells us, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”