Summary: Billions of people are asking, why would a loving God allow such a thing? God didn’t create this, He created perfection. We humans have caused this through our wanting our own way, but just like Adam and Eve, we don’t want to take responsibility for it.
(After the Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan) Billions of people are asking, why would a loving God allow such a thing? God didn’t create this, He created perfection. We humans have caused this through our wanting our own way, but just like Adam and Eve, we don’t want to take responsibility for it. …The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” Read Mt 24:4-14.
I’ve been having many vivid dreams lately, which is very unusual for me, but I sensed that God is wanting to address the events in the world in relation to this Sermon on the Mount we’ve been travelling through.
Wars and rumours of wars. Well, we have just been through the most war plagued century in the history of mankind, and this century has started off with a bang as well, pardon the pun. We hear rumours about Iran and other nations with their nuclear zeal and desire to eliminate the infidels including Christians and the entire nation of Israel.
Nations are rising against nations and people are rising against their own governments as we’re seeing in the Middle East today. There are terrible famines and two of the largest earthquakes ever recorded have happened in the last year. The so-called ring of fire is very active. Do you think we are in the beginnings of the birth pains?
There are many false prophets that have risen, just look at two of the fastest growing evangelising religions, Mormons and Jw’s both started by false prophets. Even a so-called Christian leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury said after the great Tsunami a few years ago in Thailand, that “It even makes me doubt the existence of God”.
Doubt? Jesus Christ himself said these things would increase. If anything, all these world events lead to both the coming of an antichrist to stabilize the political and economic chaos in the world, and the second coming of Christ as predicted by all these events.
Now Jesus goes on to say that no one knows the day or the hour I will come so stay awake. These events are wake up calls. Then he says make sure the servants are doing what the master has set them over his house to do when he does come, or else that person will end up in the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now to me this seems to lead directly into the Sermon on the Mount. What does Jesus hope to find when he comes, knowing now that the time is coming fairly soon, very possibly in some of our lifetimes? He asks in another place, when I come will I find faith in the world, will my servants be taking care of my house as I asked? Well, what is faith? Trusting obedience, exactly what we talked about last week, and today we continue with a new section of the Sermon on the Mount.
Last week we looked at relations with others. As we now begin in chapter 6 we’re looking more at how being a true Christian manifests itself internally in our relation to self and God.
These now are more examples of our thoughts and motives. Martyn Lloyd Jones calls this the most searching and painful chapter in all Scripture, and it’s meant to bring us to be “poor in spirit”, the first character trait in the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus begins by telling us that the world is not a stage for Christians. We are not here to look good to others, we’re here to represent Christ. Jesus is saying that we need to do good things for others without making a big deal about it. The only audience we need to impress is the one in heaven. This part of the sermon is expanding on the beatitudes about being poor in spirit, meek, merciful, and hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
I’m not going to go into all these details, but I will lump fasting and prayer and giving to the needy under the heading of acts of righteousness. Then I want to focus in depth on the Lord’s Prayer.
It says beware of practicing your righteousness before other people. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t publicly practice righteousness, the rest of the sermon so far has been saying that our good works should be seen so that others will glorify God. That’s the key.
It says, don’t do it in public in order to be seen by others. In other words your motive should be just to do good things out of obedience to God, not for the praise of others, which is really to please ourselves. Our self should not even be in our thoughts.
Has anyone ever fasted or done a long session of prayer or some other pretty uncommon spiritual act, and you couldn’t wait to tell someone about it? It’s hard to just keep it to yourself, we long for some kind of acknowledgement from people.