Summary: A sermon on how to reach a culture which looks at Truth as Relative.
“Judgment Not Allowed”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor, Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN
To my brothers and sisters from Grace…I know I used this same illustration this morning, so please bear with me…
Members of a Christian theatre troupe spent $90,440 on a full-page advertisement in USA Today that ran nationally a few weeks ago, proclaiming “enough is enough.”
What they are upset about involves a woman named Kathy Griffin.
In accepting the Emmy for her Bravo reality show, “My life on the D-List,” Griffin said that “a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.”
She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-colour remark about Christ and proclaim, “My award is god now!”
Why should Christians be so shocked by this?
Why should Christians take this kind of thing so personally and become angry with Kathy Griffin?
Why should Christians expect the lost to act as if they were saved?
We need a Spirit of compassion toward the lost, not a spirit of angry reaction!
Christians spending over $90,000 to chastise an unbeliever for “persecuting them.”
What could really be done for the Kingdom of God with all that money?
In the passage that I just read from Romans, Paul reminds us that when we pass judgment on others we are showing “contempt for the riches of” God’s “kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.”
If we are disciples of Jesus Christ, it is only because God has been so rich in God’s kindness, tolerance and patience toward us!
This kindness of God has brought us toward repentance!!!
And we, as the Children of God, saved by the blood of Jesus, are called to be Christ’s Body…
…God’s representatives on this earth!
Part of our job is to extend God’s kindness, tolerance and patience toward a lost and dying world…so that they will be led to repent and follow Christ.
We are the salt of the earth…
…we are the light of the world!!!
We are to love the lost into the Kingdom…
…not get angry at the lost for their lostness!!!
In Ephesians Chapter 2, Paul tells us: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
God so loved us even when we were steeped in sin…
…in like manner do we so love the world, even as so many are steeped in sin and dead in their trespasses?
And if so, do they know we love them?
Several years ago, I was working on a landscaping crew for the summer.
It was the summer before I entered seminary.
The foreman on the crew was a young woman who happened to be gay.
One day we were doing some landscaping around a strip mall where one of the tenants was a storefront Christian Church.
As we were taking a break on the hill above the parking lot, we witnessed a man, who had…sort of a certain feminine way about how he walked-- drive up, get out of his car and head into the church.
The foreman shot up in amazement and exclaimed: “What is he doing going into a church? Doesn’t he know that Christians hate him?”
Whether Christians really hate him or not isn’t the issue…
…the issue is that this young woman’s perception of Christians has come from somewhere…and it is a wide-spread perception!!!
And it is not the kind of perception that brings people to repentance!
Before His crucifixion Jesus said to His disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this all [people] will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
It is God’s loving kindness, tolerance, and patience which leads persons to repentance and transformation by grace through faith in Christ!!!
It was Jesus Christ’s loving kindness, tolerance and patience that caused the outcaste, the marginalized, the sinful to come to Him.
To the religious leaders of Jesus’ day Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”