Sunday, May 18, 2008

Offenses

The Great Commission

Part 19 – Offenses

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


WHERE WE ARE AT

Disciples argue about who is Greatest?

Jesus speaks to them about offenses and followers.

SCRIPTURE READING

Mark 9:42-50

42 "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, where the fire never goes out. {44 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'} 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into Gehenna. {46 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'} 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna, 48 where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

INTRODUCTION

Who is the greatest?

The Disciples argued this on the road to Capernaum.

Jesus corrected them by telling them that whoever wants to be first, MUST be last.

Like a child, they must believe and follow God.

And whoever receives one of these children, is really receiving Jesus. And whoever receives Jesus is really receiving God.

So we must be like children, having full faith and trust in our Father in heaven.

And we must not forbid those who do things in the name of Jesus.

Jesus said, if they are not against us (speaking or teaching anything that contradicts the Word of God) then they are for us. And we should receive them as such.

Whoever gives you even a cup of water because you belong to me, and it is done in my name, they will not lose their reward.

It is about receiving the children of God, and helping them.

But just as God rewards those who do even the smallest help for children of God, He also addresses those who do the smallest offense to the children of God.

I. ANYONE WHO OFFENDS ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVES IN ME.

a. 42 "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.

Jesus makes it clear about how He feels about anyone attacking a child of God.

i. It is not hard to imagine how someone can cause you to sin.

1. They could draw you into gossip.

2. They could cause anger or strife, envy, or worse…

ii. But we too, can be the cause of others stumbling.

1. We represent the Kingdom,

a. In how we talk

b. In how we live

c. In how we respond to situations

d. In how we treat sinners

e. In everything we do, everywhere we go, and everything we say.

iii. Jesus said it is better for them (who attack a child of God’s) if they tie a millstone around their neck and cast themselves into the sea.

1. Just as the smallest help toward a child of God is rewarded, the smallest offense against a child of God is also addressed.

2. Our Father in heaven is protective of us, because we are His children.

Others may offend us, we may offend other followers, we can even cause ourselves to sin, and are warned by Jesus as well.

II. REMOVE THE OFFENSE FROM YOUR LIFE.

a. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, where the fire never goes out. {44 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'}

Their Worm… Their (autos) Greek word meaning the worm of those who are in Gehenna.

b. Do not allow yourself to be placed in a position of opposing those who are truly of God.

c. Like the Apostles telling the man to stop casting out demons on the name of Jesus simply because he wasn’t one of the 12.

i. Side not, for those who teach that the gifts were only for the 12 and the first century church, this shows how terribly wrong they are.

d. It is better to live maimed than to go to Gehenna with both hands…

i. Sometimes we need to take a survey of ourselves and what we think we want in life.

1. Do we truly take into consideration the true cost?

2. What could this world offer that is worth your eternal soul?

Matthew 16:16

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Hand = works, or deeds…what you “do”

Gehenna is the destiny for all those who oppose true believers, who are truly doing the work of God.

And if what you “do” becomes an offense, a sin against a believer or God, it is better to STOP DOING THAT OFFENSE/SIN now in this life, than to continue and lose your soul for eternity.

Foot = where you go…what message are you sending?

Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

What are you proclaiming to others?

Is it peace, good tidings, salvation? Are you saying that God reigns?

Eye = what you take into yourself.

What you allow yourself to see then think on.

Jesus said;

Mark 7:15

Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'

So what is coming out of us?

What we have put in…

Luke 6:45

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

What we allow to come in, fills our hearts.

And that is what comes out of us…whatever our hearts are overflowing with.

If it is fear, we are angry.

If it is lust, we commit sexual sins.

If it is greed, we will be deceitful.

But if it is good we fill our hearts with, then from that overflow, we will speak and live.

But not until there is an overflow…

This is why so many times we do not see changes outwardly in those who get saved right away…because they do not yet have an overflow of God within them.

Fire = judgment, and salt = is the Word of God.

III. EVERYONE SHALL BE SLATED WITH FIRE.

a. The word is Salt

i. Because it preserves the soul

b. Everyone shall BE the Word (salt) with Fire (judgment).

i. By the Word you proclaim, you will be judged. In this world and in the next.

c. Your judgment shall be reward if you;

i. Receive believers like a child with faith in your Father in heaven

ii. Help all others who believe in God.

iii. Stand behind those who are for God.

These are all choices you are in control of!

d. Your judgment shall be punishment if you;

i. Rebuke others doing God’s work in name of Christ.

ii. If your hand (doing) is an offense to the Kingdom

iii. If your foot (going/proclaiming) is an offense to the Kingdom

iv. If your eye (what you take in your mind) is an offense to the Kingdom

These things are all choices, you are in control of.

There are consequences to your actions.

Jesus said that even sacrifices have to be founded in the Word (salt).

What sacrifices do we have today? According to the Word?

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

1 Peter 2:5

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Salt is good (Jesus said only God is good…salt being the Word, Jesus being the Word made flesh, Jesus is God).

But what good is it if it loses its saltiness?

This speaks of the Word becoming diluted…

Have salt in yourself! (Have the Word in you!)

Abide, do…go…& let your eyes and mind dwell on all things according to the Word of God.

And have peace with one another.

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