Two Advents

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Sunday school from December 6th, 2020

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Let's pray Lord Jesus help us grow in the knowledge of yourself and to remain firm in the confession of your beloved word
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Give us the love to be of one mind and to serve one another in Christ And then we will not be afraid of that which is disagreeable nor of the rage of the arsonist
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Satan whose torch is almost Extinguished dear father guard us so that his craftiness may not take the place of our pure faith
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Grant that our cross and sufferings may lead to a blessed and sure hope of the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ for whom we
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Wait daily. Amen Okay, give me a second here and put that over here and As is our practice
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You are you are welcomed and encouraged to ask questions. I don't know what it is about Certain pastors they are threatened by questions.
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We are not So let's let me check the chat to see here if there's anything
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Bruce says I'm here that being said I have a question based on the sermon for the
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Bible study. Oh No We may not get to revel in Dun dun dun
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Okay, all right, let's see here in the sermon we heard that God is not willing that any should perish that's awesome
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The question is how do we reconcile the patience of God not willing that anyone should perish?
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With the times in Scripture Pharaoh and Moses most notably when God hardens the heart of a sinner
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So that they cannot repent that by the way is a legitimate thing We'll talk about that in a minute here as I'm formulating my answer for for Bruce here
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And then additionally Jesus says in the Gospels that he preaches in parables lest people hear understand and repent
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Yep, he does that I would actually go to the math the Matthew text for that. I think is a little clearer
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So what do we do? With this, you know this idea. So we as Lutherans we are not
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Calvinists I need to point this out. And so we have some differences of theology regarding you know the the other branches of the
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Reformation so and oddly enough if if you were to talk to confessional Lutheran's confessional
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Lutheran's do not like to be listed as Protestants that's not what they so we get a little touchy about that and you're sitting on well, what are you?
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we're Catholics small -c and and we believe that the
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Reformed they Misappropriated Reason human reason and have created doctrines that are not in Scripture so one of the doctrines that the
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Calvinists hold on to is the idea of limited atonement limited atonement and so Limited atonement is this idea that Christ did not bleed and die for the sins of the whole world
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In other words John the Baptist was wrong when he said behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
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Whenever the Calvinist runs into a passage like that. They say behold the Lamb of God who died for the elect
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Okay, and so in the Calvinist system then When you come across passages where it says it's not his will that any should perish
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They will add a word is not his will that any of the elect should perish but that God has willed from eternity
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That people would perish in their sins and that he would be glorified by that So the
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Lutheran sits there and says you can't do this because there's no biblical text that say that so we as Lutherans then we we hold on to what the scriptures say and Which requires us to hold some things in paradox?
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So it is absolutely true that Christ bled and died for the sins of the whole world. It's also absolutely true
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It's not God's will that any should perish. So when it comes to the question
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Why me and not somebody else how is it that I'm saved? But that person who's also heard the gospel has not repented and doesn't believe the the
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Lutheran gives the answer We don't know because God hasn't given us the answer in scripture If you remember last week in the book of Revelation, in fact,
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I have it in on the screen in front of us That John when he was when he was in heaven, he heard things spoken by the seven thunders
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Right. Let me read this out So when he called out the seven thunders sounded and when the seven thunders had sounded
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I was about to write what I heard a voice from heaven saying And then I heard a voice from seven heaven saying seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down The angel whom
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I saw standing on the sea and the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever
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And ever who created heaven that and what is what is in it hat and earth and what is in it?
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And see and what is in it that there would be no more delay So we don't know what the seven thunders said
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The best way to put it is you're gonna note that this is an example of hang on. I got a rock in my sock
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It's bugging me Yeah, yeah anybody misbehaving out there
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I Could do a Brezhnev anyway
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Most people don't know what I'm talking about. All right, that being the case, you'll note that God doesn't reveal everything to us
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He doesn't tell us everything There are certain things that stay within the Council of the
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Trinity or the angels in heaven, but are not for man to know So at the end of the day, there are two things that are absolutely true we know this from clear passages
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It's not God's will than any would perish It's also true that anybody who perishes it's their fault not
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God's they are perishing contrary to the expressed will of God and Then so this does not give us the freedom to sit there and say well some people resisted more than others
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That's not the answer to the question you we don't get to use our logic and reason to fill in the blank
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We just don't know that being the case There is a there's a pattern in Scripture that Bruce mentioned immediately here in the book of Exodus as it relates to You know persistent impenitence.
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So let me let me go to like Exodus 5 Let's see here. And let me make this just a little bit bigger
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So afterwards Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh thus says Yahweh the God of Israel. Let my people go
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That they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness But Pharaoh said who is Yahweh that I should obey his voice and let
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Israel go I do not know Yahweh and moreover I will not let Israel go and then they said the
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God of the Hebrews has met with us Let us go a three days journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our
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God lest he fall upon us with Pestilence or with the sword the king of Egypt said to them
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Moses and Aaron Why do you take the people away from their work get back to your burdens?
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And Pharaoh said behold the people of the land are now many and you make them rest from their burdens so you're gonna note that as then the story develops and Unfolds as Moses and Aaron keep coming back to Pharaoh and Saying and saying
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Yahweh says let my people go What ends up happening is as you hear these words that Pharaoh hardened his heart
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Pharaoh Hardened his heart. Let me see if I can get an example of that. So let me scroll down I'm scrolling down further into the text so Let's see here
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Do do do. All right. You want to get a little farther along here? 832 someone's ahead of me.
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This is an inefficient way of doing this, but that's okay. Let's see here 832 so Moses went verse 30 went out from Pharaoh prayed to the
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Lord and Yahweh did this Moses asked remove the swarm of flies From Pharaoh and from his servants and from the people and not one remained but Pharaoh Hardened his heart this time also and did not let the people go and so here's what's happening if You would and and these plagues are actually helpful in a study of the book of Revelation That's especially as we get into the into the chapters that are ahead
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Pharaoh is seeing the hand of God at work now we happen to know the name of the magicians that that were with Pharaoh and When Moses first put his, you know used one of his signs and put his staff on the ground that became a serpent
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The the two magicians of Pharaoh were able to do the same thing when Moses with the staff of God and by God's command
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Was able to turn water into blood and change the Nile into blood these fellows also found some
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Scant amount of fresh water and turned it into blood as well. And then with the
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Subsequent miracles and Judgment signs the plagues that God sent these two magicians.
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We know their name from the book of Jude They are Janice and John breeze. That's their names. They told Pharaoh that this is the finger of God This is the hand of God that is at work.
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So Pharaoh who is a false God King. I always like to Point out a few things regarding Pharaoh the headdress of Pharaoh.
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What's it look like? Looks like a snake's head like a cobra head, right? the
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Pharaoh is a stand -in for the devil if you would a False God King tyrannical false
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God King Oppressing the people of God you kind of see how how the types and shadows work there
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So over and again then as these plagues are unwinding this false God King is being shown to be what he is a false
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God King powerless against the one true God and rather than saying I am
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Undone he Continues to harden his heart and then later in the plagues the the verbs change
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God is the one then it says that the Lord hardened his heart He hardened his heart.
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He hardened his heart. He hardened his heart and then it switches and then Yahweh hardened his heart It's and I've done a teaching on this in the past and we in fact, it's in the
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Kongsvinger Website, I think it's something about going full Burger King that the idea here is is that at some point if you're going to persist in sin and unbelief, especially when
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God is acting in powerful and unmistakable ways and you can there's no doubt that his hand is
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At work and you're gonna persist in sin and unbelief and rebellion against that then at some point
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God will say Fine have it your way, you know, and I always like to invoke the old
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Burger King commercials hold the pickles hold the lettuce that never anyway Those of you old enough can remember but so so the idea then is is that Yeah, and when
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God does that when God hardened somebody's heart in the here and the now It's usually under extreme circumstances and all that is at that point is
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God basically saying all right You don't want to repent you don't want to be forgiven
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Fine, we'll go ahead and we'll just go ahead and make that we'll ratify that now
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We won't even wait for the day of judgment and we'll make it impossible for you to repent
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God will do that, but it's usually under super extreme circumstances best way I can put it and this then becomes the context of what?
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Will happen in the New Testament and what Christ refers to as the blasphemy of the
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Holy Spirit let me open up another tab here and We're gonna go backwards into the book of Matthew because it's
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Matthew 13 where there's the big turn and so in Matthew chapter 12
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You you I think Matthew does a really good job of kind of giving us kind of the fuller context of what was happening in Christ ministry prior to him preaching in parables and there's a definitive turn in In the book of Matthew and it takes place in 12 so you you'll note that From the
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Sermon on the Mount all the way up to Matthew 12 Jesus teaches plainly he teaches openly and he's performing miracles that are undeniable absolutely
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Undeniable, but in chapter 12 you see now an absolute collision between Christ and the
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Pharisees they are They are going to war with Jesus is the best way to put it and it really comes to a head in 12 at that Time Jesus went through the grain fields on the
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Sabbath His disciples were hungry. They began to pluck pluck heads of grain and to eat
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But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him look your disciples are doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath They weren't breaking the
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Sabbath by the way They were breaking the rules created by the Pharisees regarding Sabbath but they weren't breaking the Sabbath and so Jesus goes into the
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Old Testament says have you not read what David did when he was Hungry and those who were with him how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the presence
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Which is not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him but only for the priest or have you not read in the law how the
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Sabbath on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless I tell you something greater than the temple is here
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And if you had known what this means I desire mercy and not sacrifice You would not have condemned the guiltless for the
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Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath now I'm gonna kind of make a point here and that is is that you really want to get in trouble with people
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Just start showing mercy and grace and kindness and forgiveness to those whom the self -righteous have condemned
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That's gonna get you in a lot of trouble and Here Christ has said that his disciples are guiltless
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They were not guiltless according to the so -called tradition of the elders They had clearly broken the
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Sabbath according to the rules set up by the Pharisees but not according to the rules set up by God and then
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Christ continues. He says he went on for there. He entered their synagogue. A man was there with a withered hand and You know and and many of us, you know, we've we have experience
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We've we've met people with this type of condition I remember attending a congregation faith
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Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, California there was a fellow both of his arms were withered and you know, he was very good at using his feet as You know for you know for writing and other things because he had no ability to do this
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So we've all met people like this. So Christ is in the synagogue. It's a Saturday and They asked him is it lawful to heal on the
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Sabbath so they so that they might accuse him He said to them All right Which one of you has a sheep if it falls into a pit on the
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Sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out Of how much more value is a man than a sheep?
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So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath and then to make the point
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He said to the man notice here. Jesus didn't touch him Jesus didn't go up and actually physically do anything.
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He just said to the man stretch out your hand and The man stretched it out and it was restored healthy like the others
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But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him how to destroy him How hard does your heart have to be that God has?
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miraculously Performed a healing in your in your presence
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It was undeniable this man's hand was withered and Christ said stretch out your hand and the guy stretches out his hand and guess what?
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He's got a normal arm The normal response in church is praise
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God Thank you, Jesus Thank you, Lord Their response was kill him kill him right
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Yeah So their response was to kill him And so you're gonna note here that the
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Pharisees are in a similar Circumstance to Pharaoh very similar
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They there's no doubt that the hand of God is moving mightily in their in their presence
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They've witnessed it. It's Undeniably God who is at work?
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So Jesus aware of this then withdrew from there and many followed him and he healed them all and he ordered them not to make
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Him known and this was to fulfill what was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah behold my servant whom I have chosen My beloved with whom my soul is well pleased
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I will put my spirit upon him and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles He will not quarrel or cry out aloud nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets a bruised reed
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He will not break a smoldering wick. He will not quench until he brings justice to victory.
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These are kind words I love the fact that Isaiah's words get rolled up into the Gospel of Matthew here because if you if you're like me, then there have been times in your life when the world your own sinful flesh and the devil have gotten the better of you and it just feels like You don't believe for a second that God could possibly be kind or forgiving towards you
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And so your faith is like a bruised reed or a smoldering wick. It's still there but barely and The Pharisees and the self -righteous would have you believe
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That if your faith gets down to the smoldering part that Jesus is gonna lick his finger go and just put it out
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But no, that's not how Jesus operates instead Jesus will protect the smoldering wick and even begin to fan it back into play into flame
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All right Now comes like the the big the big to -do
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So a demon -oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him. All right, so the guy's blind.
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He's mute Oh, and he's demonized That's a lovely combination, right?
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and what did Jesus do he healed him so that the man spoke and He saw and all the people were amazed and they said can this be the son of David?
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They're seeing of this miracle This the demon cast out the man's eyes being open him being able to speak and they're going.
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Oh It's the son of David. It's Jesus. It's the Messiah. All right And if you remember the the movie
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Monty Python the Holy Grail There was one particular character who wanted to dance and to sing and every time he would start to break out in song
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No, no, no, no, not like that. Not that you know, they would always stop him Right, the Pharisees are like that.
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So here the people are buying his break. Praise God. It's the son of David and the Pharisees Oh, no, no, no, no, not like that.
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No, no, no, right, so Yeah, I've watched Monty Python's Holy Grail more times than I can count anyway
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So The Pharisees then they heard this and they said it's only by Beelzebul the prince of the demons that this man casts out demons
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Really? What? so Jesus is performing miracles by virtue of the fact that He's this is all some kind of demonic, you know ruse
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So knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them every kingdom that's divided against itself is laid waste
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No city or house divided against itself will stand Satan casts out Satan he's divided against himself
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How then will his kingdom stand and if I cast out demons by Beelzebul by whom do your sons cast them out?
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Burn getting a little salty there Jesus Therefore they will be your judges But it is if it is by the
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Spirit of God that I cast out demons in the kingdom of God has come upon you Or how can someone enter a strongman's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strongman?
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Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me. Whoever does not gather with me scatters
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Therefore I tell you every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven People but the blasphemy against the
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Spirit will not be forgiven and whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man Will be forgiven but whoever speaks against the
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Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either in this age nor in the age to come Full stop.
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So now we've got a problem and you're gonna know it here that that Christ is making it clear that these
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Pharisees have blasphemed They have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and they know full well that God is working among them and Rather than bend the knee repent be forgiven themselves and give praise and glory to God That in their lifetime, they were privileged to see the
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Messiah working among them. They instead Ascribed his powers to the devil
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Very much like what Pharaoh did very much All right, and so in 13 then
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Jesus goes full Burger King on him and he begins to preach in parables and This is to make a distinction
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It's to make a distinction between those who believe in him and those who do not believe in him and the whole purpose of him
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Preaching in parables is not because Jesus is the greatest communicator on earth and he has just this amazing ability
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To take ideas and concepts from the everyday world and just explain the the word of God in those manners
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No, the whole purpose of him speaking in parables is so that certain people would not get it
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It's a form of judgment So that same day Jesus went out of the house sat beside the sea a great crowd gathered about him
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Then he got into a boat sat down the whole crowd stood on the beach He told them many things in parables a sower went out to sow as he sowed some seeds that fell along the path
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Birds came and devoured them The other seeds fell on the rocky ground where they did not have much soil and immediately they sprang up since they had no depth
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Of soil, but when the Sun rose they were scorched and since they had no root They withered away other seeds fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked them
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Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain some a hundredfold some sixty some thirty He who has ears to hear let him hear by the way verse 9 is proof positive that what was planted was corn anyway
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I Got an amen from the
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Hoosier All right, that's hilarious Anyway, so watch then the disciples they didn't come up to go just go way to go
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Jesus that was a great message best one ever. They disciples came him. So why do you speak in parables?
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Nobody got that Jesus. We're all sitting there going. Oh what so he answered them to you
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It has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven But but to them and who's the them there the
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Pharisees? The people who are accusing him of healing by the power of Beelzebul Right, but to them it has not been given
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For to the one who has more will be given as faith to the one who and he will have an abundance
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But from the one who has not even what he has will be taken away This is why I speak to them in parables because seeing they do not see hearing they do not hear nor do they
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Understand indeed in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says you will indeed hear but never understand
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You will indeed see but never perceive for this people's heart has grown dull with their ears They can barely hear and if in their eyes they've closed lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn and I Would heal them now.
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I would note then also that in this Context in this context that you can trace out another facet of this idea with that exists in the
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Old Testament and has an antecedent in the new and They and the idea then is is that scripture talks about those who refuse to hear the voice of God in scripture that God himself will send what is called a famine of the word.
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It's the similar concept So you refuse to hear the scriptures? Well, God's gonna make it so that there's a famine of the word and you're not and you can make it impossible to hear
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The Word of God that's a judgment of God similarly. Yes, sir That's a great question
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Okay Uh -huh You that is a very good insight and here's the reason why
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I would say that because here's the point he did break the fourth wall because at this point you're gonna note that Matthew is treating you as part of the inside group and that's the important bit and Remember in Matthew 28 you have the
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Great Commission go and make disciples of all nations The disciples were the ones who were tasked with the job of discipling all nations
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Technically it is not my job to disciple nations and you know, although I have the privilege of serving and preaching the word to people around the world the
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Disciples were the ones tasked with discipling the entire world all the nations and so Matthew was discipling us now and you're gonna note then we're being
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Discipled the exact same way that Matthew was discipled the same way that Peter was discipled the same miracles the same
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Teaching the same Jesus and you're right. The fourth wall has totally been broken It's kind of like um, if you've seen the movie the never -ending story
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It's when you haven't seen that. Oh Please God what is happening to this generation?
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Okay. I don't want to give it away But it's a good it's a it's a good date movie.
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Just trust me. Just trust me on that one It's a good date movie the never -ending story. Okay Yeah Okay, but but the in the in the movie the never -ending story
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There is a book and the book is not like any other book and the weird thing about it is is that the reader?
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Has a say in what's taking place in what he's reading But so in that particular case the never -ending story goes a different direction altogether but here's the thing the fourth plane has been broken and Christ is speaking to you and So you'll note then that what follows is for the disciple of Christ to let
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Jesus teach you how to Interpret his parables and he teaches you the same way.
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He taught his disciples. So that's what's going on there. So I'm gonna give you two extra
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Sunday school points for that. I don't know what you're gonna do with them. But there you go So but Bruce, I'm I'm going to I'm gonna assume that I've kind of answered your question
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It was a little yeah, we haven't gotten to revelation. Have we? Bruce is in the house.
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Sorry. Sorry All right, so so at the end of the day, let me answer this question
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Why is it so the question is why am I saved and not somebody else? We the answer is I don't know.
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I Just don't know That that's that's kind of a mystery. That's not given for us
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So You know and then you'll note that this kind of dovetails with another teaching of Christ over and again.
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We have this really silly Self -centered way of looking at things. We like to think that the sinners are out there but not in here and Jesus when he talks about a natural disaster that occurred a
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Tower that was being built fell down a construction accident killed a bunch of people and Jesus asked the question
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Do you think that they were any worse sinners than anybody else in Israel? And his point was unless you like what unless you repent you will likewise perish and so this is one of the reasons why you know the one of the themes of Advent is
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Preparing for the advent of Christ and we're not preparing for his first advent.
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We're celebrating his first advent but we're preparing for a second and So the two advents will always kind of come
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Blending together and so the same way that people were prepared for the first advent of Christ is the same way people are prepared for His second advent by repenting confessing their sins by being forgiven.
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That's it That's always and again what the point is. All right, let me check questions more questions here
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So also, what about when Jesus preached to the ones that were in prison? Okay, so Mike and I love these are like catechism questions.
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All right Okay, so that so when we confess in the in the creed that Christ descended into hell
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We we English speakers and especially those who are influenced by American Christianity or evangelicalism you hear those words in your ring
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What do you mean? He descended into hell? Yeah, you know that doesn't sound right and of course
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Kenneth Copeland the the arch heretic He claims that Christ suffered in hell for our sins.
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Well, Jesus said on the cross. It's finished. He didn't say I'm almost there You know, he he said just just one more thing, you know, it wasn't like an
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Apple event You know Jesus said it's finished and and so he accomplished our entire salvation on the cross
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But the question is when we say he descended into hell There's just a couple of texts in this regard that talk about the fact that Christ when he descended, you know
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And you can say he went to shale that's probably the more accurate way of putting it in one translation of the creed says he descended to the dead because Hell when we think of hell we think of the lake of fire after the after the last day
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But in in shale itself, there is a hell -like place where people are being held currently to this day
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And those who die in penitent end up in in that portion of shale. It's referred to as Hades It's it's it's a place of torment and punishment
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Awaiting the day of judgment and then the whole thing just gets tossed into the lake of fire, you know
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So a difference that makes no difference is no difference at all but when Christ ascends to shale all we know that he descends to the portion of shale known as Abraham's bosom and And it says that he proclaimed, you know, he preached to the spirits that were in prison to those who
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Refused to believe in the days of Noah before Noah got into the ark so the idea then is is the purpose of Christ descent into shale was for the purpose of proclaiming his victory and Then the second portion of it you see in the book of Ephesians where it says when he ascended he led a host of captives in his train
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Okay, so we we recognize that the Bible teaches that the intermediate state for saints in the
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Old Testament is Different than the intermediate state now. So the idea then is is that when?
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Those who believed in the in God rightly and trusting in his promises to send the future
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Messiah that what when they when they died they went to shale to the portion that's known as paradise and They were awaiting
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Christ to come down and the purpose then of his ascent
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Was in his ascent then they then the intermediate state they went from shale to the heavenly kingdom
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So we as New Testament believers recognize that then when we die our intermediate state is we are in the presence of Christ We are escorted there by the angels themselves.
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They take us to the presence of Christ So as Paul says to be absent from the body is to be present with the
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Lord Whereas the Old Testament states to be absent from the body was to be present with your fathers in shale and and then now
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You know Abraham Isaac Jacob David. They're all with Christ in heaven, you know as part of the great multitude.
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That's the idea So yeah, good question Yeah These are these are the kinds of topics that come up in our catechism classes by the way
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And if you are not attending our catechism classes online join us join us It takes me about two two and a half years to go through the catechism
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And the reason being is because I believe in quality not quantity It's like the basics of the
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Christian faith take that long to teach. All right So could these locusts we talked about last week be what demons look like?
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we what we recognize that the the the depictions that we get in the book of Revelation are very
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Symbolic best way to put it. They're just symbolic I have no idea what a
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Demon looks like and it's weird to talk about something that is a spirit in a physical way like that So it's it's a little bit difficult.
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All right. All right. Let's see here In other in other
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Sunday schools we've attended questions take up too much time from the scheduled materials Thanks Sylvester family
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So do I need to repent okay, that's my follow -up question to your point
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Okay, let's see a great point even more nasty a reaction than pointing out our sinner. So ultimately
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Ultimate means to show Pharaoh's rejection of God So hardening of the hearts is God providing the means of making the rejection manifest as their final testimony against them.
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Yeah, exactly So again Everybody who saved they are saved because God has been the one who has drawn them and repented them and given them faith
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Everybody who perishes it's their fault It is their fault. So very
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These are two truths that we hang on to and we don't try to reconcile the paradox All right, charismatic movement says you can't criticize them unless you at lest you blaspheme the
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Holy Spirit. Yeah, they do I've been apparently I've made a career of blaspheming the
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Holy Spirit because of all the charismatics I've critic criticized and over and again the thing that is thrown up in my face.
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So You know we with regularity on fighting for the faith Take people's so -called prophecies take their doctrines and we compare it to the
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Word of God and we show that these prophecies are false Not most of them. They're not even there's no way for them to even be true
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It's just complete word salad. If you listen to the people who claim to be prophets today, they'll say oh I received a download from the
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Holy Spirit and and he's saying that the that a season of breakthroughs and shakings is coming and And all this kind of just word salad nonsense and you sit there and what does any of that mean?
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Or I kind of feel like the Lord is telling me right now and what a weird way to talk Isaiah never said
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I kind of feel like the Lord is telling me that like the the Messiah will be the Prince of Peace and And that he he kind of sort of kind of might be born of a virgin ish
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Mary thingy, you know They know no prophet ever spoke like this. All right, these people are clearly not hearing from God, but their followers
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They get right in my face, you know, and they'll say touch not God's anointed or how does this glorify
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God or you know? Or you you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit No, I'm not
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Blaspheming the Holy Spirit by pointing out that these wacker doodle wing nuts aren't hearing from Jesus or the Holy Spirit or anything
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They're hearing from their mentally fevered minds, you know or the demons That's this is clearly something that we are called to do to test these spirits
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Hold the fast what is good? Yeah, right, yeah, so All right, does the
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Lord still actively close our ears so we misunderstand scriptures today that's scary What can
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I do? All right, so let's I'm gonna answer your question first And I'm gonna add to your anxiety for a minute, but hang on a second here
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So the answer to your question is yes, and I'm going to give you an example from from 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2
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Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and are being gathered together to him The Apostle Paul says we ask you brothers not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed either by a spirit or a spoken word
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Or a letter seeming to be from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has already come I guess you guys didn't know this but apparently the left -behind series was written 2 ,000 years ago and whoever wrote it
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You know put the Apostle Paul's name on as the author so Yes, so let he says let no one deceive you in any way that day will not come
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Unless the apostasy that's what rebellion means unless the apostasy comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed who opposes and exalts himself
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Against every so -called God or object of worship so that he takes a seat in the temple of the God of God Proclaiming himself to be
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God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you? I told you these things and you know, what's restraining him now so that he may be revealed we talk about the fact that what we saw in in revelation from last week was the removal of the restraints and The the unleashing of the hordes of hell
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So graphically depicted and then you'll note then with verse 7 the mystery of lawlessness is already at work
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Only he who restrains it will do so until he's out of the way so the lawless one will be revealed whom the
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Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and Bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming the coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan With all power and false signs and wonders
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You know when you think of false signs and wonders think of like Todd White and his leg lengthening trick.
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That's a false sign Okay Benny Hinn knocking people over with his jacket claiming that's from the
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Holy that's the power of the Holy Spirit false sign Right and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing and here's here's the part that we that needs to sober us up Because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved
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Therefore God sends them a strong delusion So that they may believe what is false in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth
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But had pleasure in unrighteousness So along those same lines we talked about the fact that there would be a famine of the word.
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That's another way in which God exacts judgment he makes it very difficult for people to hear the
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Word of God or to understand it or What ends up happening and we've seen this in it over the last few decades
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It's like watching lamps being Turned out across the globe as more and more faithful pastors are being run out of their churches and being replaced with clowns and entertainers and People who are not rightly handling
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God's Word It's it's absolutely frightening. You know I think about You know early on when the purpose -driven movement was really starting to get legs
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And we saw the ascension of people like Stephen Furtick and Perry Noble And others of their ilk my criticism of them is that they weren't preaching the
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Word of God They were basically, you know If you were to sit under their preaching and an entire year you couldn't fill a thimble with the with the
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Bible, you know with Fill a thimble with the amount of Bible that they were preaching because all they were doing was ripping just tiny little verses or bits of Bible out of context and the rest of the time they were pretty much preaching about themselves and Perry Noble Fully aware fully aware of the criticism that I was leveling against him
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He went on a tirade at a New Spring leadership conference with a room full of pastors
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I happened to be there on that particular occasion It was awkward having him rebuking me while looking at a camera because I was sitting over here and he he was looking at the camera dead -center and he
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Was he was calling me? I Not going to use the phrase, but we'll just use a alternative phrase jackball.
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He was calling me a jackball But he was using a different phrase And he says let me tell you about the jackball in the church
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The jackball in the church is the guy who says we always have to go deeper He says deep
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Let's take a look at your tithing record to see how deep you are and he said Christians are educated way beyond their obedience, so I don't have to preach the
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Bible and to that a room full of pastors went and I sat there and said whoa, you've got to be kidding me you've got to be kidding me and So the idea here is is that God will send a famine of the word.
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You don't want to hear his word fine he's gonna make it so your pastor will not preach the word and not only that you'll think that he's
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Honoring God by not doing it That's the weird thing That's a strong delusion talk
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So you'll note that and then of course I point out that many of the people who claim to be prophets today
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These are people who are obviously mentally ill and I mean obviously one particular woman who we've gone after in the past We we are good friends with her sister and this is a woman who had a platform in one of the major charismatic churches in Brisbane in Australia and She was often given the microphone on the stage to give prophetic utterances that she claims were coming from God Well in getting to know her sister, we know her
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For a fact she was mentally diagnosed with a pretty severe mental illness You don't want to hear the
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Word of God God's gonna replace you faithful pastors with people who are obviously Mentally ill and you're gonna think that you're hearing the voice of God through them when you're not it's a frightening thing
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So the question is what can I do? Repent That's the idea.
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And and so the way let me let me show you from 2nd Timothy what this looks like So Paul writing to young pastor
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Timothy who was a pastor in a congregation in in the city of Ephesus As Paul's getting ready to finish his course again 2nd
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Timothy is the last letter that Paul wrote He says as for you verse 14 chapter 3 continuing what you've learned and I firmly believe knowing from whom you've learned it and how
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From childhood you've been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ All scripture is breathed out by God It's profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training and righteousness
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So the man of God may be complete and equipped for every good work So I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus Who's to judge the living and the dead and by his appearing preach the word?
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Be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching for the time is coming
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When people will not endorse sound teaching but having itching ears They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own
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Passions and they will turn away from listening to the truth and they will wander off into myths The what you do in this situation and here's how this works in evangelicalism
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You point out pastor You're not really preaching the word and the pastor turns on you and says well, you're just being selfish.
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That's a personal preference All right I have not preaching a large amounts of the
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Word of God because I want to make our church Friendly so that somebody who is a seeker can can find something valuable in church and for them
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So it's selfish of you to ask for more Bible, but you're not you don't ever say the word repent
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Oh, we don't want to turn people away. We don't want to be negative Okay, and so what happens is is that you end up believing that fellow knowing full well the scriptures
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Talk the exact opposite the job of a pastor is to preach the word If I ever stop preaching the word sack me.
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I Have broken my ordination vows That's the reality of the situation and so what do we do we make excuses for it?
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Well, well, I'll just spit out the bones and chew the meat Or, you know,
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I I don't want to be too judgmental or be accused of having a critical spirit And so what do you do you stay there?
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Get out God does not will for you to sit under a man who is scratching itching ears and who is telling people what they want to hear
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Rather than preaching the word and if you have the opportunity to sack a pastor who is not preaching the word then sack him
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But you're gonna note in these purpose -driven churches There is no way to get rid of them they've completely reworked they've reworked how the
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Ecclesiastical structure works where you're accountable to them, but they're not accountable to you at all.
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It's a frightening thing Absolutely frightening. So the idea then is is that rather than stay and Hear poison poured into your ear
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Sunday after Sunday after Sunday You leave and you go
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Find a pastor who is going to preach the word Who is not going to give you care bears sunshine and rainbows every week and tell you everything's going to be okay
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But rightly preaches law and gospel sin and grace repentance and the forgiveness of sins and rightly handles the word of truth and That's gonna require you to go.
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Well, I better figure out what it means to rightly handle the word of truth, right? That means you're gonna have to apply yourself to the
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Word of God and you're going to have to learn a few things and Not take it. So nonchalantly
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Christ and the Apostles and the prophets have all warned us about false teachers and false prophets and God has expressed
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Expressly stated in his word. It is not his will that you listen to them and in his it is his will that they be
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Silenced. Yeah, but that would mean
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I have to go to one of those churches with all those old people Yeah, I know. I know I'm one of them
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Yeah, but isn't it true that God is blessing them because look how many young people are coming to their church
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All it is is romper room for you know for young adults.
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They're not hearing the Word of God They're not and I've demonstrated this thousands of times and reviewing the sermons from the top guys out there who are modeling for the world how to do a purpose -driven church you're not hearing the
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Word of God and worse what you're ending up with and What they claim that what they want to do is they want to give you relevant life tips on how to make your life better So you go and you listen to their sermons and week after week after week
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You're left with a to -do list on things that you're supposed to apply to your life to make your life more successful That's not what
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Christianity is about at all And no Bible and taking God's law and you know strip mining the
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Bible for tidbits on things to apply All that is is law and it puts a heavy burden on people
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Because at the end of the day You're you're not going to be some bright shiny penny
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As you get closer to the end of your life, you're gonna look like a train wreck like me and like everybody else Christ prepares us for death not for a victorious life now.
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That's what it's about So yeah, I by the way, I really appreciate the the questions today
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Yes, ma 'am, right
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Yeah, God knows what's happening what's gonna happen Yep Yeah, here's the issue
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You're right, right Just be a good tree Even the Calvinist would agree that all of us are born dead and trespasses and sins
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None of us are born good trees I was born a bad tree and I had bad seed and you had bad seed.
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I hate to say you're my daughter So you're just as awful as I am so that there's just no there's no way around it
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And so the idea here is is that how does one go from being a bad tree to being a good tree?
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That is a miraculous act of God himself, he's the one who makes us alive in Christ He's the one who who takes us from being dead and trespasses and sins to being alive in Christ And that's a miracle that he works through his means and that's and that's the working of the
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Holy Spirit So it is the Holy Spirit is the one who has taken us from the the dead category
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From the bad tree and made us good trees So but even the Calvinist recognize that that's done by God because the
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Calvinists are monergists. They're not synergists So yes, sir
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Yeah, no the answer to your question is yes, and it's a biblical precedent for it Um, I believe it's
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James, but I'm doing this from memory. So there's a really good chance. I'm wrong, but One of the epistles talk about the false teachers and the false prophets those who are so far gone heretically
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It says don't even pray for them. Don't even pray for them. All right So it's a it's a weird thing that somebody who's so far gone.
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We don't even pray for him so the idea then is this is that we on the one hand we
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Absolutely affirm that what Christ did on the cross he bled and died for the sins of the whole world that is going to include
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Adolf Hitler sins as Egregious as they are and so if you are offended by the fact that Christ could forgive
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Hitler Then you do not yet recognize the depth and magnitude of your own sin. You are not better than him
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You are you are just as condemned as he is in your own sins that being the case
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We don't see any meaningful evidence that That Hitler repented in this lifetime
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And that he trusted in Christ and because of that without any evidence
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We would say that we are very doubtful That on the day of judgment that he will stand with the sheep
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Okay, but here's the thing. I'm not his judge and neither are you same with Stalin and others?
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What we we are so we are the ones who are judged So I have no evidence to believe that he had a confession of Christ And again,
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I I love pointing to that that book that CPH published regarding pastor
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Gherke who was the chaplain the Missouri Senate chaplain who was asked by the president of the United States to stay back after the war and to be the pastor to the the
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Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg and it's it's it's fantastic amazing account and Pastor Gherke he he held the line and he would not absolve any of them that didn't confess
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Christ But any of them that truly repented he would not only absolve them he also gave them the
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Lord's Supper and he he fed them as sheep and I forget the name of the one particular war criminal in this trial.
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He was found guilty of egregious war crimes and It was absolutely right that the man would be put to death for those crimes that he committed against humanity and against God But that being the case pastor
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Gherke was his pastor Escorted him to the gallows and as this Nazi war criminal ascended the gallows
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He turned around and said to pastor Gherke. I'll see you later right so we all then in repentance requires us to remain humble and to know that that there are going to be people in heaven that It's absolutely scandalous that they're there and that's the beauty of the cross
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And so Christ himself even brings that point up when he says that that on the day of judgment the people of Nineveh will rise up and condemn this generation the people of Nineveh All right, the ones who repented under the preaching of Jonah All right that they
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Christ affirms that those who repented in the days of Jonah that they are
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That they are saved and that they stand with the righteous and that they will condemn
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Those who witnessed the very miracles of Christ saw his miracles heard his preaching and they refused to repent because at the end of the day
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The message of Christ was repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand by virtue of the fact that the king himself was present
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And so that's the message that is singular to every generation of every human being regardless of where you are
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What and what language you speak what nation you have as your nationality the Word of God comes to us and calls us all to repent
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Period full stop. Yes Right.
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Yeah. Yeah, and and I would make this one distinction Scripture commands us to judge on particular things and not judge on others
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Christ himself says that we need to make a righteous judgment a correct judgment But we the thing we are warned against is the judgment of the self -righteous and where the self -righteous
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I was always quick to condemn somebody else, but never themselves and So that's where that's where hypocrisy is.
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And and so when Christ talks about Judging others and then the same standard being applied to them.
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He's talking specifically about hypocrites a Hypocrite will you know a great example of is the pair is the story of the
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Pharisee and the tax collector You know so the two men went into the temple to pray one a Pharisee the other tax collector and the
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Pharisee and Looked up to heaven and prayed thus. I thank you God that I am NOT like other men I'm not like the sinners that I tithe all the way down to a tenth of my herbs and What did he do we prayed about himself and he condemned the guy next to him, right?
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But the thing is is that he's not righteous He is a sinner Yeah The Pharisees always complained that Christ was a friend of sinners and that he ate with tax collectors and sinners
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Well, if Jesus didn't eat with sinners He wouldn't be able to eat with anybody poor Jesus would have to have all of his meals by himself talk about social distancing, right?
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Sin is way worse than kovat. Let me tell you but in but what the what the tax tax collector?
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And this is a guy who is a complete You know He betrayed his own people stolen from them.
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He's he's he's Egregiously mistreated his own people. This guy couldn't even lift his eyes to heaven.
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He said the Lord have mercy on me a sinner and So you'll note then that we are in certain things called to judge
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We're called to judge when somebody's preaching false doctrine We are called to judge and rightly recognize that somebody is sinning but not do so in a self -righteous way
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So because if I couldn't judge then if somebody were to come to me and say pastor,
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I've got a problem I I have the sin of the five -finger discount every time I go to Walmart There's a bunch of stuff in my shopping cart that I've never paid for and I and I've been stealing for now for the past Five years.
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Well, if I couldn't judge him correctly, I wouldn't be able to say to him that is a sin and you need to repent I would say well who am
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I to judge, you know, you know that that that that doesn't help them, right? So the way I help them is by saying yes and affirming that is a sin you need to repent and Christ can and does forgive that sin and you need to bear fruit in keeping with repentance and restore to To the authorities what you've what you've stolen, you know, the idea here is bearing fruit, you know
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So yeah, we do make we do make judgments. We don't make judgments self righteously or hypocritically.
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Does that help? Right We gotta be careful with that too because you'll note that it's sinners that end up in hell
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So we love a sinner enough to tell them the truth and that is is that God truly does hate sinners
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But also it's true that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so the idea then is is that an impenitent sinner is one who is at enmity with God and A forgiven sinner is a sinner for real who has also been pardoned by God So you we want to be careful of the slogans that we use so that we don't let our slogans
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Stand as the lens by which we interpret scripture. Well, you have to interpret our slogans by the text themselves.
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So Alright, I have to end here because I have another congregation that I have to serve So it was good to see you all peace to you brothers and sisters