Bad calls from religious umpires
Intro: Ever seen umpire make a bad call? Crowd boo’s and blood pressure and anger rises. Our sense of fairness has been violated and we are ready to fight when it comes to fairness.
We hear of a serial killer getting caught, convicted, then life in prison. We scream “not fair, do the same things to him he did to others!”
Or worse than that a serial killer gets put on death rowe then he gets saved and we know he is forgiven all his sins and is going to the same heaven we are! Silently now we scream at God “not fair! Bad call God!”
This attitude reveals some ugly sins in us. This attitude whether expressed or suppressed reveals a judgmental attitude that Jesus tells us not to do. We are judging other people by using the standard of our own life. We are setting ourselves up on the judges bench and thinking we know what people deserve or don’t deserve. We are to exercise judgment using the Word of God as our standard but not to judge using our own lives as a comparison. It reveals we really are not as fair as we would like to think about ourselves.
Ill. This attitude was revealed in Jonah who God called to preach to Ninevah. He finally goes and preaches God’s wrath and judgement. Then they do the oddest thing. They repent and get right with God and God blesses them. This makes Jonah mad. After all the wickedness they have done and I told them You were going to hammer them and they repent and You bless them! We laugh at the immaturity of this but are guilty of the same attitude.
After reading list of sins in 1:29 through 32 and Paul says God’s wrath is revealed towards those who commit such sins you can hear congregation getting excited saying, “ amen, sick em Paul, wave their hankies and say preach the Word, keep going. It’s about time we heard somone gutsy enough to preach the Word. Nail those preverts. They need to repent. Then the pause as he turns and points the gospel gun at them.
“If you think you are higher up than anyone else when you point your finger at others you are wrong. It takes one to know one.” Then read 2:1 in Living Bible.
Reminds us of the level ground at the cross. This does not mean we are soft on sin or ignore it.
I. Bad call # 1:THE PROBLEM IS NOT THEM IT’S US.
We are looking at the problems and sins of the world all wrong!The church is guilty of pointing the finger at the world and proclaiming foul. We have said our society is morally drifting downward but refusing to see it in the church! Our own sins have changed the way we see things. We don’t see things properly.
We must judge ourselves before we can use the Word properly. The church is to be salt and light.
1. We must admit we (the church) have drifted from the Word of God. Show diagram.
2. We (the church) must fear judgment. We proclaim judgement will fall on America what about the churches/ pastors/ deacons? Read verse 3. I Peter 4:17 “the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God.”
3. We must weep tears of repentance.
II. Bad call #2: WE MUST STOP COMPARING OURSELVES TO ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE WORD OF GOD.
We start drifting away from the Word very subtly. The next thing you know we are using a new standard, our opinion.
Ill. Our ugliness shows up like the elder brother in the prodigal son parable. Father rejoicing over youngest son repenting and returning to Father’s house after experiencing sowing his wild oats. Elder son’s response is he is not rejoicing. In fact he is appaled at the Father throwing a party for his wild younger brother. He reveals his condemning nature when he complains to his father about it. “I’’ve been faithful, I did not go out and spend my inheritance foolishly, etc.” When in fact he thought about doing same things but either too scared or did not have the opportunity to jump in this sin. Maybe not as outgoing, popular, etc. He is gulty of judging His Father and his brother. When we compare oursleves with other people we set ourselves up as a judge.
Or another parable about the Master hiring laborers to work in his field. Hires some in morning and says I will pay you at end of day. Noon time hires some others to work right alongside these first workers. I will pay you what is right at end of day. Then near end of day hires some more, same thing. End of day pays all same wage. First workers scream not fair. Master says did I not give you what I promised? Yes but paid other more.
Reveals the truth about us. We are guilty of comparing oursleves with others. That’s our problem. God doesn’t compare us to them.
III. Bad call #3: DON’T MISTAKE THE PATIENCE OF GOD FOR APPROVAL. Vs 4.
God’s judgement is not always immediate. Often people mistake God’s patience for getting by with sin. God is using His goodness to let them see how much He loves them and wants them to turn. Ill. When a person realizes how much he deserves judgment yet realizes the goodness of God to him it leads he to repentance.
But the most hardened sinners are not outside the church, they are sitting in these pews. The most hardened type sinners are faithful church attenders who continually have sinful bad condemning, critical attitudes. They have successfully deceived themselves into a state of religious respectiblity among their peers.
Concl: Nothing but the HS can overcome this hardened heart. God is patient but not endless. It may not be one, two, three your out. But eventually the game will be over and you will be left out.
Those who hold onto wrong critical attitudes and behavior are storing up wrath. Sooner or later it is coming to their house. Like water stored up in a dam that will one day break.
Only one way out of it, repent.