Blessed are Those Who Mourn
Hey guys turn with me in your Bibles tonight to , were continuing our series through the beatitudes, these great statements of blessing that came from the mouth of the Son of God. I don’t want to neglect the most obvious word in this passage which is the word blessed. Blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed Jesus just keeps saying it and this is the first great statement in his first sermon up on the mountain at the beginning of His ministry and I don’t want us to miss how shocking it is. You remember there was an occasion before where God was on a mountain....
Sinai, that mountain was called… God came down to give the commandments to Moses but His face was never seen. The people were kept at a distance you read in Deuteronomy how boundaries were set up around the base of the mountain in case the people got too close to the place where God in His holiness was coming down. Darkness descended on Mt. Sinai when God came down. Smoke on the mountain, fire, this blasting of trumpets, so terrifying that even Moses said “I am trembling with fear” If Moses was trembling with fear at the closeness of God, how would we have felt?
Then we come to the beatitudes and have you noticed how the scene is completely different? Here God has now come down into our world in the person of Jesus Christ, God is in the flesh, and instead of God coming down to the mountain in a form that is not visible to us, we have God incarnate and He standing with us goes up the mountain and when He sits down, His disciples come to Him.
The contrast is very obvious between the terrifying splendor in the OT where people are forced to stay back at a distance so terrifying the Bible says that the people begged that no further word should be said to them, that was Sinai but here you have the Son of God sitting on this beautiful hillside, He has gone up and draws His people unto Him, and He sits down and He speaks not thundering words of condemnation, but He is speaking words of blessing. Blessed, blessed, blessed, He is wanting to lay out for us, what a blessed life looks like.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
Who would not love to pull up a chair and listen to God in the flesh speaking to us about this?
We have seen that Jesus began with this startling statement in verse 3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We drew from that this description, that Christians are people who know their poverty, they look to Jesus for what they do not have and know that in Him they have all that they need.
It is easy to get to the place where i am standing before God knowing that I cannot measure up to His righteous standard, leaving me poor in Spirit. Aren’t you glad that poor in spirit was the first beatitude?
It could have been something much more difficult… for example if the first one could have been blessed are th pur in heart which one of us could get there?
None of us, that is beyond us but Jesus comes near to us in a place where we are able to come to Him. Spurgeon paints a beautiful picture:
“A ladder if it is to be of any use, has to have its first rung close to the ground. What use is a ladder if the first rung is way beyond where you can reach?”
No a ladder’s first rung has to be closest to the ground.
Then Spurgeon adds this: “The gospel blessing reaches down to the exact spot where the law leaves us.”
IN other words the law brings you to a place of being poor in Spirit, you look at the law of God and you say I havent got this, I havent produced this, I am not the person God calls me to be it brings you to the point of being poor in Spirit. JEsus Christ meets you there.
That takes us tonight to the second beatitude
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
2 things for us here tonight
The Mourning That Christ Pronounces Blessed
The Mourning That Christ Pronounces Blessed
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
Now what is this mourning that the Son of God pronounces to be blessed?
There are 3 different kinds of mourning:
“Grieving for something or someone you have lost.”
God has given you a special gift and then He takes it away, and we grieve. Everyone of us who has lost someone close to us knows this pain and hurt that feels as though it will never go away. Jesus wept by the graveside of a friend so He understand what it means to lose someone.
But this is not what Jesus is referring to here, because this mourning that Jesus refers to here is in the context of things that we should strive after. If He commands us to be pure in heart then we are to go after purity of Heart. We are to pursue righteousness, we are to desire meekness, we are to get as much of these things as we possibly can.
Jesus is speaking to us in the beatitudes about conditions of heart, that are so latent with blessing that we are to do everything we can to get as much of them as we can. Now that is true of every beatitude.
We are to run after these and get as much of them as possible...
Btu no one would say that about Natural mourning
Nobody would ever say of breavement, I want to go after as much of this as I can get so we deduce from that very clearly that this is not what Jesus means.
There is another kind of mourning that we could describe as
B. Sinful Mourning
“is longing for something God has not given”
“Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
A worldly sorrow that leads to death is obviously a sorrow which contains sin in it. there is no sin in NATURAL MOURNING, but this is a different kind of mourning and it is a longing for what God has not given.
King Ahab-God has given Him a palace and kingdom but right at the edge of the palace there is a poor man named Naboth, and Naboth has a little vineyard, and the king who has the whole kingdom set before him sets his eyes and his heart towards Naboths vineyard.
And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food.
So Ahab is pouting around the palace and why is he doing that? Because his whole mind and heart is set on something that God did not give to him but did give to his neighbor Naboth. That is sinful mourning and the account records that this sinful mourning lead to the killing of Naboth, and the world is full of this kind of mourning Another word for this kind of mourning is coveting.
Theres something that you wanted in your life, and you see it in your sisters life, in your brothers life, in your friends life but it was not given to you and Paul is saying this type of mourning is a killer. It leads to death!
Obviously Jesus is not speaking of sinful mourning when He speaks about the blessings that falls upon this type of mourning.
“sorrow over our sins against God”
This is the godly sorrow that Paul talks about when he says that Godly sorrow leads to blessing.
Because it produces a repentance that leads to life
So the question is:
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT SPIRITUAL MOURNING?
This is a subject that is of huge importance for the church today. The reason I say that is because we are surrounded by a form of faith, that has been so diluted, so gutted of it’s biblical fabric as to be unrecognizablefrom what Jesus speaks about here.
Thank God for the wonderful truth that we are justified by faith,
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
But it is very important to understand what that means. Why does faith justify?
Why does faith justify and not works?
A believer is justified by faith, because faith is the bond that united a person to Jesus Christ, and a person being bonded together with Jesus Christ is cleansed by the power of His shed blood applied into the life of that believer by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.
That is what it means to be justified by faith, it brings you into a holy union with Christ, JEsus justifies and sanctifies, and eventually he will glorify all Christians. HE does it by applying the blood payment to a persons soul and that happens through the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
Here is the problem:
It comes from a redefinition of repentance and a redefinition of faith
FAITH- that unites a person to Christ, has been reduced to belief- an assent to certain truths.
Oh yes I believe certain things about the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Now we say this often, the devil himself KNOWS THE FUNDAMENTAL FACTS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND WHAT HE HAS DONE, the devil knows them to be true. Simply agreeing with certain truths will never change your life. What changes your life, correction WHO changes your life… CHRIST CHANGES YOUR LIFE AND FAITH IS WHAT BONDS YOU TO CHRIST!
If there is faith with no change in direction or change of life..... there is no faith
When Jesus comes into your life he doesn’t just come to give you a ticket to heaven but he also comes to make you holy. He accepts you as you are, but his grace will never leave you where you are!
When we reduce faith to belief it leads to thousands of people who quote “ACCEPT JESUS” without ever submitting to Him as Lord over their lives. So we end up with a form of faith that does not lead to a change of life, and when the world despises the church for this they are right. Because this is so far from biblical Christianity as to be unrecognizable and unworthy of the name of Christian.
2. REPENTANCE- that involves a change in direction, has been reduced to admitting that I am a sinner and saying a prayer.
I want you to listen to 2 scriptures tonight and I want you to try to take in how far the world of the Bible is from the kind of message that often poses as a message under the banner of NT Christianity today.
I’ll quote one form the Old and one from the New
Here is the clear call to repentance...
Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
So God says to the wicked, NOW FORSAKE YOUR WAY, you gotta turn, youve gotta move in a different direction if you want to enjoy all of the blessings that are found in Jesus CHrist.You gotta stop thinking these thoughts, turn,, forsake, that’s a thousand miles away from admitting that I am a sinner and carrying on unchanged.
Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
So were talking about the very foundation of the gospel here, God’s foundation. Heres its seal
The Lord knows who are His
Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity
In other words what this scripture is saying is if you are going to name the name of Jesus and claim Him as your Savior heres what it entails: DEPART FROM INIQUITY, not think about it, not merely admit that there is iniquity, but depart from it. Everyone who names the name of the Lord departs from iniquity and this is foundational. The apostle Paul is saying...
So the call of God in the OT and the NT to a change of direction that the Bible calls repentance, now being replaced with merely admitting that I am a sinner and saying a prayer in which I pray for God to forgive me, that is to move from biblical gospel preaching to unrecognizable difference. Now for the child, who prays a sinners prayer but understands that this moment should forever change his or her life understanding the components of their prayer is essential, it is this simple truth that the mind of a child can comprehend so long as we patiently walk them through it.
But for the more mature what we find to be true is that there are scores of unchanged adults or teenagers who claim Christianity but have 0 life change. You see the older people get the less like a child they think, and they use this prayer as a means to give them false hope, they don’t realize they are doing this but they are. Once again prime reality are adults who have said a prayer and signed a card but have no life change at all, and then come to the realization they do not have the indwelling Spirit changing and molding them, they are essentially the same person they have just added obligation and duty and they remain unchanged during the rest of the week....
Now what I am not saying is that a person cannot be saved by praying the sinners prayer… that is nonsense… that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that when we do not explain repentance while offering them this message of the gospel then we are helping them to become agreers not repenant born again believers.
My mind goes back to when I was 7 years old sitting at the first baptist church of tallahassee in an awanas class, I remember the teacher saying how great Jesus was and how great heaven was and asking us now you can either have the devil who is baad or you can have Jesus who is so good and now who wants Jesus to come into their heart? Well of course everyone jumped up and I was sitting there confused but of course if I had the choice between someone bad and someone good I wanted the someone good. So I walked up and he lead us all simultaneously to pray the sinners prayer, i signed a card saying I had said the prayer and my mother was told when she got there “Kyle prayed to recieve Jesus as His Savior” my mom cried happy tears and then she told everyone.
I had no clue what I did other than say a pledge that everyone else did.
My life was no different, my heart had not been touched...
Then as I sat in an auditorius at NFCS a man named Randy Hogue preached a firery message against sin, once again 90 % of my friends got up and went down front they lead us back stage behind the bapistry where a lady lead us all simultaneously through the sinners prayer. My mom recieved a phone call: “Kyle asked Jesus to be his Savior today” When I got home my mother cried happy tears, and told everyone. I had no idea what I had done other than feel guilty about my poor decisions and rebellion.
The next weekend my mother caught me at a bonfire drinking out of a bottle of Jack Daniels and smoking marijuana with my friends and I thought she was going to kill me, but then I watched her cry tears of saddness and she said: I guess your decision wasn’t genuine again. I was angry, I didn’t tell her to get excited for me, I certainly did not tell her to tell everyone again about a decision I had no clue what I had done.
I was 16.
At 21 though something happened, as I sat there in that old wooden pew in Carrabelle FLa, I knew I had nothing to offer Jesus (poor in Spirit), I was broken over the reality of what my sin was doing to God who had spared me from death twice at that point. As i sat there weeping I swear I did not know what was happening, all I knew was this if there was any peace to be found it had to be found in the Jesus they kept mentioning so I walked forward poor in spirit, and mourning, That night I cried tears of joy and when I left I CALLED AND TOLD EVERYONE, and my life has not been the same since, a peace and comfort swept over me as I stood there after the service.
On 2 occassions I felt guilty, (worldy sorrow) but on the third occassion I knew that I had broken the heart of God, I came to Him empty I remember praying God if you can do anything with this life I am wasting I offer it up to you now. Then after that night, I began to hunger and thirst for righteousness, I wanted to be holy, I wanted to please Jesus! As I hungered God changed meHe filled me. I had obtained the Mercy of God and wanted to extend that same mercy to my father who hadn’t spoken to me in several years.
Do you see how these things worked together?
Did you notice the beatitudes bubbling up to the top?
I remember hearing these words and they stuck with me.
GOD HAS NOT PROMISED TO FORGIVE ONE SIN, THAT YOU ARE NOT PROMISED TO FORSAKE!
The concept is not foreign, because the idea of being saved entails repentance and at the moment of repentance we should be ready to forsake all to follow the Lord!
Do you mourn over your sin?
Do you mourn over what your sin is doing to the heart of the God who saved you?,