Summary: In the blessing of the righteous, God’s eternal purpose is being accomplished.
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“In the blessing of the righteous, God’s eternal purpose is being accomplished.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
Intro: (Start with Title and Text)
Have you ever sat through a movie and someone told you every part – right up to the end. It ruins the plot – if you know the end. I was reading a book I got for my birthday about an atheist and a Christian who attends 20 something churches all across the country – and then they give their opinion one from the Christian perspective and one from the outsider looking in. Very good book, only something puzzled me and I couldn’t help myself – after attending church services does the atheist become a Christian? So I did what you shouldn’t do while reading a book – I skipped to the end. I was disappointed. I knew the end.
Sometimes knowing the end is not bad. Remember the titanic movie – everyone knew going in that the boat was going to sink. But we lined up to watch this movie anyway. What if you knew how your life was going to end? Accident on the highway. Cancer. Heart Attack. Gun shot. What about your life would change if you knew how you were going to die? Would you change your habits, or avoid situations? That’s a neat question, but we don’t really have the answers to it. We know that someday we will all die. People have been dying since we started living – it’s not an easy fact of life. We must be prepared for the day when it comes.
I struggle with something in my preaching – it might surprise you. It’s not a fear of public speaking or humility about the excellent sermons I write, you may not know this about me: I’m not a hell fire and brim stone kind of preacher. I don’t even know what a brim stone is. I avoid texts that talk about eternal fire and hell – weeping and gnashing of teeth. I would prefer to preach on God’s grace, and his love, and the joy of knowing Christ. I had a very “righteous” lady tell me one time – “The problem with you young preachers, you tend to shout grace and whisper repentance.” – Guilty as charged. The next Sunday I preached a sermon titled – We should shout grace.
This morning – I’m not going to shout grace…I can’t. There’s only one way to take this.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to (Advance) Matthew 25:31-46 (read)
I see three things this morning – three truths that we are reminded of and hopefully will allow us to understand the need for service in the life of the church, but in our daily lives as well. We are going to take the chance this morning to come to church, and then be the church, through our actions.
Here’s the first truth:
I. He is coming back (31-35)
Jesus came the first time – in grace. Jesus came the first time – for compassion. Jesus came the first time for a witness – as an example of God’s absolute love for his creation.
John reminds us that God loved the world so much – that he gave his son. Jesus came to earth the first time as a result of his love for people – for you and me. Paul tells Timothy that God has a desire that all men be saved and come to knowledge of the truth. Jesus said he was truth. Jesus submitted himself to the laws and restrictions of this world, so that we would know the truth and that truth would set us free – and that freedom would lead to abundant life, not only in the next life, but in this one. The time to accept what he’s done for us – the sacrifice he has made for us – and his love for us – is now. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not next Sunday it’s not after we get things cleaned up – it’s RIGHT NOW. Because here’s the truth:
a. When he returns
If grace defined his first coming – the second coming is going to be defined by judgment.
John 5:27 – And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. The Son of Man will function as the judge, he has the authority to judge and he will have no other role. The role of judge was restricted to Yahweh in the Old Testament. Jesus will judge you based on your sin.
b. You can hide your sin – from people
i. You can pretend it doesn’t exsist