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WALKING WITH JESUS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:55
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Gospel For Today Matthew 22:1-14 Protectionism thrives outside of God’s kingdom, unity lives in the grace and peace of God’s presence. Protectionism thrives outside of God’s kingdom, unity lives in the grace and peace of God’s presence. And so it’s difficult to preach today - because protectionism is so alive and well. John 3:19 Matthew 6:19 Protectionism thrives outside of God’s kingdom, unity lives in the grace and peace of God’s presence and so it’s difficult to preach today. 1 Corinthians 12:13 Ephesians 2:14-18 1 John 4:18 Ephesians 2:13 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 1 Peter 2:9-10 Faithfully Preach

Notes & Transcripts
 Gospel For Today Matthew 22:1–14 It’s difficult to preach today. I don’t mean today, August 13th, 2017, but I do. I mean today in our times, to not preach out of culture, but to preach out of scripture. It’s difficult not to chase down current events - and preach God’s heart for culture - that would not be good for us, we’d teach a moralism and a moral reflection on the fallenness of the world. However, racism is near and dear to my heart - and so as we’re in this series which is a gap between 2nd Corinthians and Jonah we’re going to take about the racism of Charlottesville VA. My parents were divorced when I was 2, so I hear; I don't remember it. I lived in project housing in Tampa FL with my mother and went to Shaw Elementary which was 57% black, 34% Hispanic and 4% white I later moved to rural South Florida and then Rural Western North Carolina - I remember still my first day of High School, driving up the mountain to Tuscola High School and being behind a pick-up truck with a shot gun in the back window, and rebel flag hanging from one side and a raccoon from a noose on the other - I remember looking at my dad saying, “this is going to be terrible isn’t it”, nothing was truer. It was terrible. I remember taking my wife back home to meet my dad and little brother and little sister before we were married - and standing at a Christmas parade after the last float went by with Santa Claus on it, came an impromptu un sanctioned parade float of men holding a rebel flag and a sign reading “heritage not hate” - I was furious and embarrassed. - Protectionism thrives outside of God’s kingdom; unity lives in the grace and peace of God’s presence. While there was this element, and I recall being glad to see my dad so angered and vocally angry that night, it didn’t represent the whole town, but certainly an element of the town. And while Charlottesville doesn’t represent the whole nation, it certainly represents an element of this nation. However, we’re going to walk with Jesus through this event and see how He changes our understanding of race, nationalism, and kingdom. I hope that we’ll look together and see how Jesus’ Kingdom changes the shape of the world we live in. And without Christ, you better be concerned with nationalism, with race and superiority/inferiority but in Christ and in the Kingdom of God things are different. But in Christ we have gospel to proclaim and as the world gets tarter the news gets brighter. We’re walking with Jesus these next few weeks. And this week - we’ll see the race that God has called and made superior and forever end the arguing. The racist cannot live here, in the church. Protectionism thrives outside of God’s Kingdom; unity lives in the grace and peace of God’s presence. And so it’s difficult to preach today - because protectionism is so alive and well. Why, because race is a temporary taxonomy that we’ve invented in order to camp off, and clan up. To survive a world that loves darkness more than light, John 3:19. We feel like if we make friends quickly, and camp off together we can more easily find unity and fight off attacks. It’s a position of fear. And so the racist is really someone who is fearful. Fearful that their kingdom is being encroached upon - and Jesus had some things today about Kingdom. In fact, Jesus mentions the Kingdom 529 times in 495 verses from Matthew to Revelation. To put that into perspective, we know sin is a huge deal to God, in fact, Jesus himself came to deal with sin. Jesus mentioned Sin - 256 times. Just about half as many times as He mentioned the Kingdom. Matthew 22:1–14 (ESV) The Parable of the Wedding Feast 1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” And so, that’s what Jesus’ kingdom is like. A party with a guest list of people who weren’t interested and so then, the king of the kingdom goes to compel others - from the highways and hedges - does that sound like a group of folks with prepared wedding garments (because verses 11-14 are important) No - the Kingdom guests are guest who’ve been both compelled and prepared appropriately by the inviter. They’re not prepared on their own accord - they’re made ready by the inviter, God - And so the Kingdom of God bears not external signs of salvation, there is no race worthy over another, no race more worthy and so we aren't nationalists of any Kingdom on earth. With a root of racism and racial gathering for safety like a prison strategy, click up with a gang and beat someone up for protection - rather we know our calling is security, we know our nationalism is the Kingdom of God that is outside this world: Where moth and rust do not destroy (Matthew 6:19) So this guy, without the wedding garment, it’s not that he was found in the highways and hedges with an open invitation to the wedding and the king was hacked off because he’d not gone home to change, rather the king made him whole, provided the wedding garment, and he’d not worn it, he’d disrespected the free gift, he’d elected not to participate - What of us, do we participate as citizens in the Kingdom of God or are we protecting status as members of Kingdom of Earth? Protectionism thrives outside of God’s kingdom, unity lives in the grace and peace of God’s presence and so it’s difficult to preach today. What of: 1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV) 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. Ephesians 2:14–18 (ESV) 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. If we believe that of Jesus. If we believe that of the Kingdom of God. Then: · To the white racist shame on you, church, will choke you out; you will not survive. · To the black racist shame on you, church, will choke you out; you will not survive. · To the red racist, shame on you, church, will choke you out; you will not survive. I’ve heard it said that only white people can be racist - guys, don’t let ridiculous things live - this isn’t about camping off and finding a superior position to argue from, this isn’t about finding a foot-hold in the world, this isn't a about protectionism and fear because 1 John 4:18 says. 1 John 4:18 (ESV) 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. The kingdom of God is an over-coming, over-powering, over-arching Kingdom that corrects our errant stained thinking. We’re the guests compelled to come to the wedding party, compelled into the Kingdom, not because we SHOULD be invited because we’re white, or because we should be invited because we’re Black, but rather - because God chose us together - Black, White, Asian, without regard to any of that, actually. Yet we cling to it - we identify by it. Church, let us be a people of the Kingdom of God. Consider: Ephesians 2:13 (ESV) 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. And, 2 Corinthians 5:18–20 (ESV) 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. And so, we too now seek the world to help them find their reconciliation to God. Not on their own terms but rather seeing that they get to abandon their terms, abandon their ideas, abandon their racism and protectionism for the good grace and peace of God. Church that’s got to be our aim, and it must be our example. There is a hash tag trending on twitter, #ThisIsNotUS; I have bad news - yes it is. That’s a feel good hash tag. But it’s a lie. It plays hide and seek like a toddler yelling I cannot see you and you cannot see me. These aren’t made up images. The kingdom of earth is terrified and afraid. We’ve camped off by race for so long we’ve made kingdoms and we hate each other, this IS us. But church, this cannot be you! Stand up, and stand strong against racism of every kind. I’ve told you why racism is near and dear to my heart - personal experiences of division, and hate, and anger and fighting, and nastiness - but guys, it’s all of this, world. When we take our eyes off the crust of the glob and place them on the glories of God, it all becomes ridiculous! I work from my deck often, and kids in my neighborhood are out playing all over the place - there is something in the water, every house has so many kids - and I can hear them all arguing and fighting, over games with made up rules. The games don’t matter. The rules don’t matter. In fact they’re most often being made up on the fly and crafted to keep those who are stronger and better at the games, with an advantage. Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like life to me. I want to leave us off with this: 1 Peter 2:9–10 (ESV) 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. This is the calling of all tribes, tongues, and nations to become one through marriage like picture, in Christ - one flesh all nations, one Kingdom, all nations, one Kingdom, all races - chosen as God’s - now living on earth as an example. Lets not hide behind fear, perfect love casts out fear. When men with burning Tiki Torches fight, and drive cars through crowds of people, and crowds of people attack each other and its’ all driven around race - this is a fear based event, people fighting for position in a world that isn’t meant to sustain them, Church we have opportunity here to be unified, to show perfect love, and to speak up and out into a dark world, lets take that opportunity this week, and lets show perfect love not fearful cowering but a bold stand for Christ and His kingdom. And so it’s difficult to preach God’s gospel today, but church - you’re called to do it, so be faithful this week. Preach a kingdom of peace with God, unity in the church, and one that knows no race but a royal priesthood of every tribe tongue and nation gathered around God. Faithfully Preach WALKING WITH JESUS: Gospel For Today Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 6 of 6 Sunday 8/13/2017
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