Summary: Talks about the importance of good deeds, but also emphasizes that deeds cannot get someone into heaven. Bill Gates is used in an example.
A STUDY OVER THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: PART X (TOPIC: GOOD DEEDS)
INTRO: Mr. Deeds is an Adam Sandler movie made a couple of years ago about a simple guy named Longfellow Deeds who inherits a ton of money, sort of. The plot twists and turns around for a long time, but in the whole essence, Longfellow Deeds is good to his name, and produces good deeds the entire movie long. Even the final scene has Mr. Deeds purchasing everyone in his neighborhood a hot car (probably some kid knows what kind of car it is, moreover, just asking the youth about the movie might be better than explaining it to them, my favorite part is when Deeds bring a gumball pizza to Crazy Eyes who was in prison at the time).
BIBLE VERSE: Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
1. GOOD DEEDS: DON’T GET US INTO HEAVEN
BIBLE LESSON: Luke 18:21-27
18:21 The man replied, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws since my youth.” 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 18:23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was extremely wealthy. 18:24 When Jesus noticed this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 18:25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 18:26 Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” 18:27 He replied, “What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God.”
CAN’T EARN HEAVEN: Though this verse says a lot about money, it says a lot more about heaven (talk about how this man showed up attempting to hear Jesus tell him that he is good enough to get into heaven). But this man discovers a tough truth (notice that Jesus does not tell this man that his deeds were NOT good, so they probably were), good deeds cannot earn heaven.
COACH STORY: I have a non-church attending, non-God believing friend, who I had a conversation about God one time. We small talked a bunch. But in the end, what he was saying was “Look, when I die, I will stand before God. And I’m a good person and have helped a lot of people and raised some great kids. If He can’t see that and take that, than I don’t want to go. What type of god would make people to blindly worship him and their life, how vain!” This man has a very small picture of God, and a big picture of himself.
*SMALL NUGGET (SINCE MY YOUTH): Though not necessary for the study, if asked, the man is referencing somewhere around his 13th birthday because that is the age a youth becomes a man in the Jewish culture.
EYE OF THE NEEDLE: There is an old story of how the old ancient city’s had giant walls. And at dusk, the gate was closed so the only way to enter was to go around to the side of the walls. There, there was a small tiny door that would open only if a camel squatted down on his belly and crawled under. In other words, it is very hard.
REAL MEANING OF THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE: But that is NOT what this verse is talking about at all. That idea did not come up until the Middle Ages. Here’s the deal about its meaning. The pin is the smallest item in Israel, a camel is the biggest animal. Christ is saying that there is no way in the world anybody can enter the kingdom of God.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH A NEEDLE.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ENTER HEAVEN BASED ON GOOD DEEDS.
2. GOOD DEEDS: DON’T MAKE UP FOR SIN
Story of a Really, Really Good Person:
A. Bill Gates Giving: Everyone knows Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the world. I am glad for Bill Gates and I am really glad that he is an American (think what would happen if the entire computer business tax money went to some other nation). He started the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” which assists in improving health, poverty, and development in Africa, which is a great goal, a fantastic goal.
B. Bill Gates Beliefs:
Gates: I don’t. I’m not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I’m a huge believer in.