Summary: This sermon contains everything a box office hit movie would have, just not from the perspective you might be thinking.
“This Sermon is Not Yet Rated”
"This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of King David and of Abraham:" Matthew 1:1 (NLT
Intro: This sermon contains everything a box office hit movie would have, just not from the perspective you might be thinking.
It contains loyalty, betrayal, deceit, regret, secret rendezvous, back room deal, political corruption…and in the truest form of a good soap opera…, the main character gets killed off and miraculously returns on the next episode.
Continuing with Matthew 1 verse 2 on through verse 16 is a list of the generations from Abraham
to the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah. One might think of this as the list of the credits
that would appear at the end of a movie…
Before I go on I want to share a little bit of humor.
A pastor had agonized all week over the Sunday morning sermon,
When he stood up to preach, he drew a complete blank
Just as he bowed his head to turn off his microphone and sit down
Someone reading the scripture came through the PA system
Then followed with a prayer
So the pastor decided to go along with it.
In fact he lip-synched the entire message.
Occasionally he would raise his hand and pointed toward heaven.
The congregation set up and took notice
There were several Amen’s.
And he even saw a couple of people wiping tears from their eyes…
Just as he thought he was about to get away with it…
The announcer came on and said,
Thank you for tuning in today…,
to the Billy Graham Ministry…, Radio Broadcast.
Since the early 1920’s when the first commercial Radio stations started broadcasting
and the 1940’s when the first commercial Television stations came on the air
Radio and Television have entertained, informed, educated, and shaped society and the culture around us.
The Motion Picture Association of America rates a film for suitability for certain audiences.
Anywhere from: G- General Audiences All ages admitted to
NC-17- No One 17 and Under Admitted
Television gives viewers an idea of the suitability of a program with a disclaimer such as:
"Viewer discretion advised."
"Intended for mature audiences only."
Some programs go from production to audience before they are submitted.
And are given the disclaimer: “This Film Is Not Yet Rated”
The title of today’s message is:
“This Sermon is Not Yet Rated”
We are going to talk about four things: Language, Drugs, Sex, and Violence
I hope this sermon will raise questions which encourage us to talk further about the meanings of our faith.
Let’s start out with Language
What do you call it when the church uses language that is supposed to be understood by everyone but is actually language that is not understood by seekers and non-believers?
I. Language_write beside it the word TRADITIONS
"And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery." Matthew 27:39 (NLT)
It was a tradition when someone was being crucified for there to be something like a parade.
People would line the streets to watch crucifixion.
If I were to ask you to describe the crucifixion to me,
you might use words like Cross, and Suffering, and Salvation.
Everyone knows what a cross looks like
Most of us can identify with suffering in some form or fashion
And Salvation is the centerpiece of Christianity
But do we understand the real meaning and true biblical nature of these words?
Language can be deceptive and confusing.
What means one thing to one person might have an entirely different meaning to someone else.
The language of religion and the church is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the languages of the world.
It is common for a church service to include words such as:
Grace, Baptism, Born again, Apostles Creed, Wesleyan
The hymns we sing include phrases like: (don’t get me wrong these are some of my favorite hymns) Here I raise mine Ebenezer---(Hebrew meaning “stone of help”) (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 400 UMH)
Cherbrim and Seraphim (Holy Holy Holy 64 UMH)
And angles prostrate fall (All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name 154 UMH)
Who is He in Yonder Stall (hymn 190 UMH)
We sing these hymn with passion and reverence
But I’m not sure that the newcomer to faith has a clue to what they mean…
Bible studies might tackle topics subjects such as: Judgment, Revelation, Dispensation, Tribulation. But what does all this mean?
What do we mean by Baptism.
You might be thinking about water…
But what about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
It is common for people who have been members of the church for many years
to have difficulty explaining basic Christian beliefs of the church.
All of this confusion of language is further evidenced