2020-03-01-LIVE OAKS - Blessed are the persecuted
Well, good morning. hot mic
this is the day that the Lord has made we will stop chit-chatting and be glad in it.
you know, we'll have more time to
just a moment. Upper right now, please join me in prayer.
Father you have drawn us to the feet of your son and what can we do but worship and it's the only that's the only right response. Missing You Jesus not just crucified but risen and reigning and we are your body. This is your church. So be glorified be glorified this morning through us in our singing in our fellowship in her giving proclaiming and hearing of your word. Thank you Lord, Jesus in your name. We pray Amen to worship this morning. Together since we are one body. Alright covenanting with one another. I promise that I will preach as quick as I can if you listen as quick as you can. This is this is this is good. This is exciting stuff. We're wrapping up our Series in the Beatitudes this morning released. I plan on it. I don't know if we'll see. We'll see how it goes. Great with me again. I ask that you would not just don't just sit silently politely as I pray. Pray with me, please God may we never tired of lifting up our voices in our hearts to you in prayer may the opportunity to pray never become routine.
Lord may we may we pray at the prompting of your spirit? I mean you say that the that you give us the words to pray when we don't know.
Is what I dunno I dunno I want to to rightly divide your written word. I don't want to misrepresent who you are. And I want you on full display. So if that's the happen if your Holy Spirit has to do it. So Holy Spirit speak. And give us the ears to hear may I be the first one to here?
God's thank you. Jesus thank you in your name. We pray I'm in. show Beatitudes Matthew 5 starting in verse 2 any open his mouth and taught them saying blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied blessed are the merciful for they shall receive Mercy blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. and today Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven? blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
We are prayerfully maybe we'll see concluding this series in the Beatitudes in end and we've we've talked about it. We've shared about it that the Beatitudes they're not a list of things that we need to make sure we're good on it's not a list of to-do items. It's not a it's not a strategy. It's it's not, you know, eight steps to overcome it as best we can discern as best we can understand that. This is Jesus talking in true but poetic and and beautiful and Powerful terms that that God has a kingdom and we're all leading that this whole thing is leading to a banquet thrown in in Jesus's honor. A banquet to 22 Revel in the Glorious Grace of Jesus Christ in that table is going to be set in an in-depth piece that is going to be laid before us is it's basically everything. Heaven and Earth satisfaction, it is all laid out before us and who's going to be there. those who were invited those who are brought to the banqueting table by the grace of Jesus cuz it's the grace of Jesus that will be celebrating forever. This is not a list of things that that we can. Brush up on this get this right get this right eye one time referred to The Sermon on the Mount is like that that the table manners it's not it's not even that no, it's not even that it's not we don't we're not going to be seated at tables and given a list of of rules now now that you're at the table make sure you follow these you got to be merciful. We can have any unmerciful people sitting at the table the merciful will be there.
I don't know what we can spend the rest of our lives just in these passages. We will never we will never arrive until he does. Amen.
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb?
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb and this morning? We are told by Jesus. That we're blessed. We're deeply abidingly happy if we're persecuted.
We are deeply in a bitingly happy if we're persecuted and here's something interesting about the way Jesus words this here again translated into English. But this is this is what Jesus says in Iowa. I find this fascinating. He says blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. There's no shall there that there's there's no like we're holding out hope that this satisfaction will come when Jesus says is if you are persecuted you're happy. In that present tense that that is that is craziness. Right, and I almost started out thinking I thought I was going to attack it this way. I thought this is what we're going to do. I thought I was going to be able to talk about how violently opposed we are to persecution right? We're just supposed to persecution and that and then I thought I'll wait. No tell me you're right, but know exactly the opposite and in our culture today, especially in our popular culture. We actually love persecution. We welcome at we want to be persecuted. We want to be oppressed. Is there a more celebrated group of people in our culture than those who are oppressed and persecuted if your persecuted at is like a guarantee of platform in popularity? We actually we did we invent ways to be persecuted we invent ways to tube to be marginalized we go out of our way to be persecuted in marginalized.
That makes it very confusing for us to really truly understand. To what Jesus is referring to the heart of what Jesus is referring to like how do we wrap our minds around it when when I get in like are definition of a word?
We've allowed to be skewed by the culture around us.
If we adopt that cultural standard and let that affect our aim, we will miss Christ definition of faithful cross taking discipleship Vine Eternal mile.
If we find happiness. and in being persecuted But we find our happiness.
in the world's terms Then we missed it. If we find her satisfaction in Christ and because of finding our satisfaction in Christ were persecuted. All right, now we're now we're on the right track. And I just have to give you if you like your I mean if you like your sermons to kind of Fino strategically Crescendo at the end of this is either I'm going to ruin it for you.
I'm a rebel turn out all the rules. Here it is. The world will never celebrate us.
ever the world is not going to celebrate us. Write the scripture teaches us that the gospels and offense. Paul said the gospel is an offense. Baso4 Faithfully preaching the gospel people will be offended but here's the deal because we've adopted the world's like giddy joy and being a persecuted minority was actually going out of our way in a lot of ways to be offencive. What we want a guarantee people being offended. We enjoy it.
I'm suffering for Jesus. If this cost me everything if this cost me all several dozens of thousands of followers.
Then so be it. Understand if we are authentically representing. proclaiming the gospel
We will be persecuted. We will not be loved. We will not be celebrated.
In Christian World in Christendom, especially in our popular culture though here. Here's what we've done. We've we've been vented her own little ghetto.
Define popularity. And we're satisfied in that.
If I can have some some Grace and some permission. I wasn't alive praise God. I wasn't allowed to see it but the Negro Leagues
was it right for?
People to be satisfied but being successful and popular. in a completely different leak We as the church we've decided you know, what popularities okay, if it's inside the church. Right. I mean Christian best sellers are are still best sellers right celebrity Pastor still get to be a celebrity.
It's just a little smaller pool. Actually. It's actually easier to become a celebrity in our little ghetto.
Jesus says it is a guarantee. if you are authentically my disciple
you won't have tens of thousands of thousands of Disciples of your own. You'll be hated. You'll be persecuted. You'll be marginalized.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for righteousness sake? a man out how twisted Lee ironic would it be if you were persecuted for unrighteous sake you're purposely hateful purposely divisive and then got enjoyment from being persecuted now blessed. Are you if you're persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and her all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Now that little translation here. Here's the here's that the hip and woke version of of this for us youngsters dialed in Blessed are those who are celebrated for finally showing the world that loving Jesus can be inclusive and loving? For theirs is the kingdom here on Earth Welbilt. Blessed are you when you get the invitations to speak or perform on the shows and get all the likes and reposts because you're not like the other Christians I know. Rejoice and be glad great is your reward of Pop acceptance. Play puke persecuted the prophets before you but not you because you know how to Market your own image and pedal a more palatable gospel. How smart is that on the snark o Meter was that I mean? I like it good time cuz I like to play around here in anything more than here is a bit self-indulgent, but right about here.
Where do we find our pleasure in pursuing persecution or we find our glory in in in in our little ghetto? By remaking reshaping the gospel is something a bit more palatable out other. Jesus would have been a lot more successful if he, you know, crafted and marketed his message a little better. 2nd Timothy 4:1 says I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead and by appearing in his kingdom preach the word.
Be ready in season and out of season and here it is for us in America right now.
It used to be more in season. Jeffrey's the gospel. and everybody would not and you know, you would go to church and that would connect you in the Kiwanis Club or whatever and And you can network was culturally Norm. If you did if you would like it if you weren't a churchgoer, if you were a member somewhere even in job applications and where you at church member.
That was in season. It was acceptable more acceptable. It's also easier to spend your whole life.
Never really being a part of the church. Just a part of the big popular mass of people. I think the percentage of disciples has never really changed. I think a popular method of doing Church continues to change. But if you're not spent it decided I do I think discipleship transcends popular culture. Preach the word be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but have itching ears that they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into Miss.
Night, so now that we filled sufficiently self-righteous because we are not like those people I feel sufficiently self-righteous cuz I preach the word in season and out of season.
how to make sure that that this Sanctuary isn't my little ghetto
This is not where I am to find my worth. It's in him or it's nowhere.
Beatitudes at this really amazing set of bookends here. I'm not sure if you noticed it. I didn't at first the first that Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit. Any closest with blessed are those who are persecuted? and both receive the kingdom.
Those who will inherit citizenship in the Kingdom of the reigning Christ and we'll Feast at his banqueting table are those who know they were absolutely to file to sit at the table with Jesus and are now seen as too vile to sit at the table of the world. We used to be too vile for God, but because of his grace and the life and death and sacrifice of Jesus whose blood covers Us and makes us clean makes us righteous. We can rightly sit at the table. But now we're to file for the world. It is one or the other. There is no dual citizenship.
You can't accept two invitations.
This is not some tired 80s sitcom Trope or Troy the goofy but lovable lead who yet again has proven his knack for getting into 22 minutes of entertaining trouble accidentally making two different dates on the same day at the same restaurant and instead of canceling one of those dates wacky hijinks ensues.
Jesus is saying there are no wacky hijinks.
Choose one or the other. abide in me
or have the love in the world. But there's no way we can spend this and have both. There's no way we can Market this and have both.
Abide with me or be loved by the world. And now I want to share with you a familiar passage. But as we continue in our adventures of you know, the greater context, I'm going to start well before it. in Matthew 16 starting in verse 21
from that time. I love to hear this Bibles. need sound
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem. And suffer many things he has to.
Suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed. And on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Far be it from you Lord. This shall never happen to you. But Jesus turned and said to Peter get behind me Satan. You are a hindrance to me or you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. Then Jesus told his disciples if anyone would come after me. Let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what? Will it profit a man if he gains the whole world as his followers? and forfeits his soul or what shall a man give in return for his soul for the son of man is is going to come with his angels in the glory of his father and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
So so I want you to follow this all along but let's see if we can follow this. What would Jesus was laying out here? Okay. So Jesus tells his disciples. This is the way for me. I I must suffer die and be risen I have to do this. I was born to die. Everything that I have done has been on the way to the cross.
Every person that I have healed has been on the way to the Cross every sermon I've preached has been on the way to the Cross every hungry person that I fed on the way to the Cross every person that I touched and it looked into their eyes is on the way to the cross. I came to die. I must do this.
And by the way, it isn't because Jesus that was accidental or or careless and how he presented the the message. He was killed because he was the message.
There's no way that Jesus should have or could have spun this differently. This is what he has to do. He came to die. Okay, but but Jeep, but the Peter. Peterbilt just like all of us. We we pull Jesus aside and we say no. Jesus and it doesn't have to be the way. If you're going to go into the city center show them how awesome you are show them that they just misunderstand you it if you build enough enough platform if you gain a bunch more followers, maybe grab some sponsorships, but be careful enough in your messaging still love you the follow you and then you won't have to suffer that there's like another way.
Your way seems very narrow and difficult. There's a broader way.
Jesus pushes Peter and his demonic ideas aside.
And he says to me.
Tommy this is the way preach the gospel suffered. I be forgotten.
Jesus says to me.
The only way to keep your life is to give it away. This is the way. If you want to walk with me. You have to walk. with me
If you follow a path of non suffering. You will arrive at a destination that's non Jesus.
For the son of man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his father and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Now that sounds like works and rewards doesn't it did to me still dust don't like it. Don't read it often.
I forgive me. I wrote a little something. Then maybe puts it in in a in a different perspective may be a more helpful perspective.
Imagine This you're carrying a cross. You've been carrying it for what seems like forever. You've been carrying it ever since you laid down your life. In order to have the strength to carry it. Because you knew you couldn't carry both. Other people along the road past you a long time ago. They're able to move along much faster and in far greater Comfort because they weren't carrying across just their own lives.
You called out to all the crossed your path that lay down their lives and follow you to a glorious destination. They just mocked.
And shoved you out of their way. They seem to watch how much more likely.
Compare the cross on your back. They seem to float along without even a care. Taking any detour that please them. But not you. You had one fixed point to which you were heading determined to reach the destination.
then at the end tired sweaty blistered bruised Jesus comes from behind you. And says, let me take that cross from you. I have something for you. I think this is yours. You left this behind it was broken. So my father picked it up and gave it to me to repair and remake. It's your life.
Shut it doesn't quite look like the life you remembered. It's now clean and fresh and new and full of Radiance full of light shining Invincible Everlasting.
And those others who passed you on the way.
so much lighter and less burned Oh, Jesus had something for them as well. He said here you didn't want it at the time.
But it's yours now.
Here, let me take that life from you. You won't need it on your cross.
If you follow a path of non suffering, you will arrive at a destination that is non Jesus.
But what about Jesus's words?
Remember, he said my yoke is easy. My burden is light. Matthew 11:30, he says my yoke is easy. My burden is light.
Sounds easy and light doesn't sound like suffering.
Can you guys suck her to a couple more minutes?
What we have to read we have to learn we have to read these things in context. We just have to
Matthew 11 continue seeing things in their context. We know Matthew 11:30. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. We love it. We love it. Thank you. We love that passes showing.
Easy would like easy. I know I do.
Last week I was at a track meet and I was cold and I had a jacket in the car. My laziness was at war with with my coldness.
I like easy.
When Jesus had finished instructing his 12 disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in other cities now and John heard in prison John the Baptist heard in prison about the Deeds of the Christ. He sent word by his disciples and said to him. Are you the one who is to come or shall we look for another and Jesus answered them go and tell John what you see and hear the blind receive their sight and the lame walk lepers are cleansed in the deaf hear and the dead are raised up in the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me. As it went away Jesus began to speak to the crowd's concerning John.
What did you go out into the Wilderness to see a reed shaken by the wind? What did you go out to sea? a man dressed in soft clothing behold those who wear soft clothing or Kings during Kings houses. What then did you go out to sea?
John Legend's clothes for scratchy in his food wasn't always yummy. And you didn't live in a palace. He was a prophet. Jesus is saying don't you understand? What did you think you're going to find out there? He's a prophet. So his clothes are scratching his foods not always yummy.
Yes, I tell you and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written behold. I send my messenger before your face will prepare your way before you truly. I say to you among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Peter said the greatest man, the most important man ever to live is John the Baptist and his clothes were scratching. And his food was not always yummy.
He wasn't living a comfortable life. He was a prophet Prophet called comfy lives.
yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he
Do you think you're closer going to be scratch yourself? I'm just asking.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force for all the prophets and the law prophesied until John and if you're willing to accept that he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear Let Him hear if you get it, you get it.
But to what shall I compare this generation? I love it music children sitting in marketplaces in calling to their Playmates. We played the flute for you and you did not dance we sing a dirge and you did not mourn you didn't dance for us clown.
For John came neither eating nor drinking and they say he has a demon. The son of man came eating and drinking and they say look at him a glutton in a drunkard Jesus. Jesus is saying they call me a glutton in a drunkard a friend of tax collectors and sinners wisdom is justified by her Deeds. Then you begin to the downstairs cities where most of his body works have been done because they did not repent. What would you chorazin bethsaida for if the mighty Works done and you had been in Tyre sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and Ashes, but I tell you it would be more bearable on the day of judgment for tyre and sidon then for you and you confirm will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. Thrift the mighty work is done and you had been done in Sodom it would have remained until this day, but I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom then for you. At that time Jesus declared. I thank you Father Lord of Heaven and Earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to your little children. Yes Father for such with your gracious will all things have been handed over to me by my father and no one knows his son except the father and no one knows the father except the son and anyone to whom the sooner the son chooses to reveal him. It's you and me come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Okay, take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I mean, I know I know I know I know a lot of words and we got a of I mean we had oh man, you know, I mean
Jesus says my yoke is easy after he goes to Great Lengths to describe that profits are not listen to their not popular.
They're rejected their hated. They're not successful. They don't succeed. Oh, man, we would love it. I'm sorry. This is a mood. Am I doing going off book with all the time? We we love it. So so Isaiah Wright end up in the in the throne room, and then we love it. I sit here. I'm here. Am I send me? Here am I send me boom sermon over everybody goes home. Maybe it was some bracelets here. Am I send me the rubber things? Median income in China. They're super cheap.
Send me which it which is called to send it. Send me campaign will just do it that way. What does God say after after he says Hear My Singing God says go and utterly fail. No one is going to listen to you.
He was called to fail Faithfully. For God's glory.
How many verses except to call in the ministry to be successful?
Or maybe you could just be the CEO of your own little thing in our ghetto.
The greatest man greatest Prophet John the Baptist the least sitting around the banqueting table is greater than he scratch it close but headed.
Why do we think we're going to fare better?
Yeah, that's it.
Why do we think we're going to fare better? Why do why do we think that the phone was going to be different? Why do we think that uses his words and reply to us? Why do we think that now we figured it out now we can have an easy life and be popular and still be seated at the table. Here's this year's the question that haunts me where is my persecution? Where is it?
I have received nothing but blessing in my life. Where is my persecution?
I pray that is because of his grace.
And not my Rebellion.
father I ask where's my persecution?
We're about to receive your body in your blood Jesus. How could we going to do for you to fight about scratchy clothes?
But when we get we can come crying to get somebody said some mean to us some playground. Call me if such a feast laid out before us.
Am I going to pursue something greater than what's laid on this table. Am I going to compromise the truth of what's laid on this table for what greater ease and more popularity.
I made my own insecurities here about the time of the clock is just reckon me and we have this late on the table.
Rebuke assault and lead us to repentance what's on this table of Fords this such Grace. It's a reason the phrase all men. That's my hope. There's my hopes and sitting right there on that table what it represents. That's that's what I hope in you Jesus you
thank you. Thank you Jesus.
I can't do this better than you. Thank you. Jesus. Don't don't even let me try. Thank you, Jesus. In your name, I pray amen. All right, so we have a we have a feast here we do. So what I'm going to ask you to do the elders going to come forward they're going to they're going to