Summary: On this 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, we must not harbor ill feelings; we must let God be the judge.
Overcome Evil with Good
September 11, 2011 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must not harbor ill feelings; we must let God be the judge.
Focus Passage: Romans 12:14-21
Supplemental Passage: "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:44-47 NASB)
"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28 NASB)
Introduction: One of the most incredible stories of forgiveness I’ve ever heard came out of Tulsa, OK, a couple of years ago. Tom McGee was a young man who went out for a night of partying & revelry. He got drunk & ran head-on into a car driven by a young man by the name of Ted Morris. He killed Ted Morris instantly while driving under the influence of alcohol.
This wasn’t the first time he had been arrested for drunk driving, so Tom McGee was put on trial for manslaughter, found guilty & sentenced to a term of several years in prison. But the prison was crowded, & prisoners were being given early paroles, so Tom McGee actually spent only a few months in prison before being released on parole. But he evidently hadn’t learned his lesson, for it wasn’t long until he was arrested again for drunk driving. So his parole was revoked, & he was sent back to complete his prison sentence.
Jack Morris, his victim’s father, visited Tom McGee in prison. After visiting several times, he started taking cookies that his wife, Elizabeth, had baked for him. And they became friends.
Finally Tom McGee was released from prison, but he had no place to go. So Jack & Elizabeth Morris invited him into their home, & gave him a place to stay. They provided the means by which he could receive an education, & helped him find a job. They were members of a Church in Tulsa, so they took him to church with them, where Tom McGee accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord & Savior, & was baptized.
Later, the news came out that Jack & Elizabeth Morris have formally adopted Tom McGee & made him their son. When Jack & Elizabeth Morris die, Tom McGee will inherit whatever they have accumulated in this life. Now that’s forgiveness - an incredible story of forgiveness. (Illustration by Melvin Newland, sermoncentral.com)
I. Bless your persecutors
a. Pray for them (vs 14)
b. Demonstrate kindness to them (vs 20)
c. Realize that God is in control
II. Do not curse your persecutors
a. Do not be provoked by them (vs 14)
b. Do not give “pay backs” (vs 17)
c. Do not seek revenge (vs 19)
i. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3 NASB)
d. Realize that God is in control
III. Overcome evil with good
a. Do not feel you are better than others (vs 16)
b. Do not feel you are smarter than others (vs 16)
c. Be at peace with all people (vs 18)
d. Realize that God is in control (vs 19)
Invitation: What are the two biggest ways to overcome evil with good? Love and Forgive. I Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” Jesus, in the Model Prayer says, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12 NASB)