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Self Defense and Retaliation

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2010 4:56 am

Self Defense and Retaliation

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 1, 2010 4:56 am

Self Defense and Retaliation (Message 10)

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Harvest podcasts featuring Pastor Greg Laurie are brought to you by harvest partners to receive pastor Greg free online daily devotions or to become a harvest partner, please visit us online@harvest.org or read Matthew chapter 5. Back in our series that we are calling worldview and the title of the message is the biblical worldview on self-defense and retaliation based on the sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5. Of course today is Memorial Day, a day that is dedicated to those who have served in the military and died in our nations service and how we should thank God for every one of these people in all who have served and are serving in the military today, but sometimes the question might arise among some how does this work with the teachings of Jesus in the sermon on the mall. For instance, in a few moments are gonna read that the Lord tells us to turn the other cheek and not repeat evil for evil, but then we think of the military and we think of those who are in law enforcement is not a contradiction to what the Bible is actually teaching and what does Jesus mean when he tells us to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile. I need should a Christian be a complete pacifist, should we never defend ourselves. How does this all work will it all fits here as we look at the worldview of Jesus Christ.

If you will. You want to know how Christ himself sees the world. Read the sermon on the Mount. You want to know how is heartbeat, then study the sermon on the Mount. You want to know how Jesus feels about life and living the general again study the sermon on the mount because the sermon on the Mount is the official manifesto of the King of Kings and the Lord of lords, but I must add this. This is for believers only. This is not for nonbelievers. This is not even a set of principles that govern society by these are the words given by Christ specifically to those who have chosen to follow him. Look at Matthew five verse one and two we read something in the multitudes, he went up to a mountain and when he was seated his disciples came to him and he opened his mouth and taught them saying, quick little side here. Back in those days the teacher would usually sit and those who were listening would stand. I think we should bring this back it up to three services you know I want to set this up. Let's just see that today I'll sit here and you stand anything heavy could could you fall asleep every service may data even listen to what this says here, seeing the multitudes, he went into a mountain when he was seated his disciples came to them and he taught them see that these were forgiven to his followers not to the masses, not to the crowd. They were given to those who were following him this phrase he opened his mouth as a colloquialism in Greek. It's used to describe something that is solemn gray and dignified. In other words, this is a phrase that is describing some weighty statements that are about to be given. These words were not addressed to fair weather followers. In Jesus have those and there still around today.

You know there are people that have an interest in Christianity and interest in the teachings of Jesus, but they haven't really committed themselves to him. You know you may be surprised to know that there was a time in his ministry.

When Jesus was actually quite popular. We focus a lot on his betrayal, his crucifixion, but for a time Jesus was the talk of the town. Huge crowds formed were ever he went. Because after all he was performing miracles.

He was restoring sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and healing and incurable disease known as leprosy, even resurrecting people back to life again but is most popular miracle without question was when he gave a free lunch to everyone in the feeding of the 5000 following the Lord address the topics of sacrifice and deeper commitment.

The crowds began to shrink and ultimately the crowds even turned against him. No, these words were given to committed followers here in the sermon on the Mount note the funny thing some people will say all religion. I need a spell right there in the sermon on the mall really have you ever read the sermon on the Mount because I think these are some of the hardest teachings. Jesus ever again. I think it's harder to keep the teachings of the sermon on the Mount that even the 10 Commandments and I'll tell you why, because the 10 Commandments deal primarily with external actions. Thou shall not commit adultery, thou shall not steal. The also not like these are things we do the sermon on the Mount deals with the heart.

Jesus is you've heard that it has been said that I see in you. If you do it in your heart. So this is a much harder thing to deal with.

So these awards are given the people that have totally committed themselves to him. People that understand what he was teaching in the Beatitudes.

Remember that start off with Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are they that mourn, and so forth. Blessed is the man of the woman who sees himself as they really are before God spiritually bankrupt and destitute and they mourn over the base their sin and they repent of it. These words are for believers only. Let's read some important introductory words now of the sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 5 verse 17 Jesus says do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill first or last seen you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law, till all is fulfill a genre tittle would speak of the crossing of a T or the dawning of an odd verse 19 whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven Bryce and you, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Let's pray the Lord is to read your words here in the sermon on the Mount, as we understand how you want us to live. Help us to carrots and see it the way you want us to help us to internalize it and live it out. Speak to us as we open your word. We ask in Jesus name, amen.

Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus says you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven. I remember when I first read those words is a brand-new Christian I thought what on earth.

How could my righteousness ever exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you see, the scribes were men who had dedicated themselves to the study of the law of God, they would carefully go over it interpreted copy it in the manuscript for and in the Pharisees. They were a select group never numbering more than 6000, and they spent their time going over the law debating the law. Quoting this or that rabbi to make your point. Jesus comes along and says unless your righteousness exceeds their you will you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.

The first of all, Jesus was setting himself apart from all the rest because normally when a debate would ensue. A rabbi would be coded. We know well beyond Rabbi Gamaliel says that since all will with the second rabbi so-and-so has a different view.

Well, there's this other rabbi Jesus as you heard it said before but I say on the Jesus was not recognized by any rabbinical school. He did not need the authority of another teacher to support him.

He was the authority and he spoke in that manner. He says I am not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it. The word fulfill means to carry it out to make a full to get to the heart of it, everything that the law was pointing to was fulfilled in Jesus Christ all the Old Testament times, laid out in Leviticus and Numbers were fulfilled in him. He was the Passover lamb. He was the burnt offering, he was the scapegoat he was not going to fulfill everything that the law was pointing to. But ironically they accused him of breaking the Sabbath day because he dared to help a person in need on that particular day. And that's because they are completely twisted and perverted what the Bible was saying on these topics and Jesus was getting to the heart of the matter. So when he says that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees is running me there righteousness was based on their works there. Righteousness was not real. Theirs was a self righteousness know he said that's not enough. You need real righteousness and that is given to you. When you put your faith in Christ. It's called imputed righteousness that is placed in your spiritual bank account.

As a result of you being justified by faith through your belief in Jesus choices I'm getting to the heart of the matter now. This is the bottom line in your righteousness needs to exceed their and now he lays out what that actually means here in the sermon on the Mount deals with a lot of important topics helping us the form of worldview topics like hatred and sexual sin and marriage and divorce, and speaking the truth in retaliation, and loving others. The sermon on the Mount is not about giving the bare minimum.

But the maximum you can give is a Christian cabal Jesus own words. It's about going the extra mile taking it to the next level and being a radical sold-out follower of Jesus Christ. Listen the sermon on the Mount is heavy duty stuff for hard-core Christian the spiritual lightweights need not apply if you're a Fairweather follower. To be blown away by what were going to talk about today. If you're not really interested in living as a Christian.

This is going to be stuff that you will say I can't do this if you want to be a real follower of Jesus. This is what he is laid out for each of us to do again this is for believers only. So let's read some more words Matthew five verse 21 you heard that it has been said of those of old, you shall not murder. Whoever murders will be in danger of judgment but I say on the you whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Whoever says to his brother Rocca shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says you fool will be in danger of hell fire. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and therefore remember your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar.

Go your way and first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift agree with your adversary quickly while you're on the way with him. Bless your adversary deliver you to the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer in you be thrown in the prison. Assuredly, I see in you. You will by no means get out of there till you paid the last penny you've heard that it has been said of those a bowl. You shall not commit adultery but I say and do you whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart, so if your right eye causes you to sin will pluck it out and cast it from you words more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell is your right hand causes you to said will cut it off and cast it from you experience more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Wow, what is this all be. I have no idea. God bless. Jesus is getting to the heart of the matter is I said the sermon on the Mount is about the heart.

The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart, and here's what he say it has to be more than just external pressure. In other words, let me ask you this. Why don't you go and steal something that you really want. Why don't you go ahead and kill that person that bothers you.

Why don't you commit adultery will sometimes therefore honestly would say because I don't want to face the repercussions. I don't want to be arrested for stealing. I don't want to go to prison for killing and I don't want that on my conscience and that I'm afraid of I commit adultery I get caught up. You will then let me ask you a follow-up question if the set of circumstances word will rise you thought you could steal that something get away with it what you then do it or if you thought you could get away with adultery. Would you go ahead and commit it.

If your answer would be yes and we have a problem because really, that means in your heart you still want to do these things are heartbeats to change, though there is a place for those external reasons.

We must have a change of heart. We won't want to do those things anymore.

So instead of just dealing with hatred, Jesus gets back and then sit at the parties is a talk about anger. Let's talk about what's really going on deep inside you. Verse 22. If you're angry with your brother without a cause will be in danger of judgment.

How many of you have ever been angry with your brother or your sister get your hands up all of us have really been angry. The Bible is not saying you can never be angry is even a place of righteous indignation. More to the point. There are times we are angry with one another.

You know kids get upset with her parents and parents of their kids and husbands with wives and wives with husbands and friends of friends and Christian brothers with Christian brothers. This happens we get angry sometimes we say things we should not say we find ourselves apologizing for this. This is normal day-to-day living. This is not what Jesus is dealing with someone who has a little bit of anger here and there.

This is talking about a person who is become bitter, who is developing a glut of garage who is nursing and feeding at the word that he uses different angry could be translated as settled anger, malice that is nursed inwardly what I discovered. Some people like the fight it's not even what they're fighting about.

They just like to scrap they like to mix it up. They like the debate they like to argue. They always have to have their opponent. The person that they're upset with and the reason you know this is as soon as one issue is resolved, another 1 Takes Its Pl. They just like to be in some kind of confrontation in some way shape or form. Jesus is talking about a person like that a person that is nursing bitterness a person that is actually allowing the anger to grow. What is this anger and hatred start. Sometimes it starts with envy. I think it was Shakespeare the call and be the green eyed monster and you remember that the first homicide that was ever committed was done by Kane toward his brother Abel.

Why because his brother sacrifice was accepted and just was not as envious will compute sacrifices accepted my visit not taught often start in a one person gets that promotion one person get something you want one person has something you don't have it in B begins to develop and then be turns to anger, and anger turns to bitterness and bitterness turns to hatred and effectively you're murdering that person in your heart because your spreading lies about them in your slandering them and that's what your whole life becomes about. So Jesus says don't let this happen should not be true of a child of God. First John 315 says everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. Notice it does not say there like a murderer. It says they are one. That's also during this first John 29 says he that says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness.

Don't tell me you love God and hate your brother you hate your brother you hate your sister if your heart is filled with the deep malice. The Bible is saying you're not really a Christian. So we need to ask God to change our heart. This is the way we feel toward others. No, the Lord tells us in verse 22 of you said your brother Rocco will be in danger of the council using rocksolid fat will it's hard for us to understand what this phrase means because there is no modern equivalent in the English language today. A literal definition of Rocco means of brainless idiots and empty had a bonehead it I think it's not so much about the word it's about the attitude. This is speaking of a superiority over another person. It's a phrase that comes from an arrogant contempt of you save your brother your work less or you say you full, which means you're a godless person.

Both of these ideas convey the attitude of someone that sees himself above someone else and Jesus is dealing with that now shifts gears and we talked about last verse 27. You've heard it set up of those of old, should not commit adultery but I say whoever looks on a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery worked with her in his heart. Ella, that doesn't mean if you see a pretty girl or a good-looking guy as you are not seeing right now, but will probably see you later outside of church but it doesn't mean that you notice someone as attractive is it was a pretty girl all, there's a good-looking guy that some of this is talking about. This is talking about seeing that person. But then, allowing your mind to go to the wrong place. I affect the word that is actually used here to describe this phrase whoever looks on a woman isn't referring to a casual glance it's referring to the continuous act of looking not an incidental or involuntary.

Glad, but an intentional and repeated gazing with the express purpose of lusting. This is the idea of a man or even a woman that would put themselves in a place where they would look at others to stimulate feed and encourage their loss in Jesus is saying this is like committing adultery now sometimes you don't do this on purpose, but you're exposed to something that you wish you had not been exposed to.

But then you have a choice as to what you gonna do with it. A good example is David, the king of Israel was up in this rooftop patio and he happened to notice a very beautiful woman. They met Shiva bathing herself and that he couldn't help noticing her, I suppose, and I'm not quite sure that that Shiva did not know that he would have a good view of her and did not put herself in that place there is a responsibility on her part two.

She was culpable. She cooperated with David. She could have refused his advances. Of course, but David saw her so there was no. He could've turned away from it but instead he acted on and you know how the story unfolded. He had her brought it to his chambers. They had sex together as she was pregnant and then instead of just coming clean and admitting that he wanted to make it look like her husband was the father of the child to recall the husband, Uriah M from the battle and wanted him to spend the night with his wife with Uriah wouldn't do that, and ultimately, David had Uriah send to the front lines and he was killed in battle effectively had a murder in the David married Bathsheba thought he covered up his sin and then of course on Nathan Lewis cover and confronted him and said, you sin against God. And tragically, that child died after was born was just a mess to see what it all started with a lustful look and so we need to think about that. That is why Job said I'd made a covenant with my eyes not to look at a woman, but a better translation would be not to look lustfully to see women and men. But don't look lustfully you actually sometimes have to literally turn away. Many are walking on the street in approaching you with some gorgeous girl or some looking guy in your mind going to the wrong place. Sometimes you need to avert your gauges look away. Don't look that way. Maybe if you're watching television than something comes on the screen. You know it's going to stimulate less you need to stop it. And there's a button on your remote control usually read to push it. Images disappear.

It's called the power button use it. Don't go on your computer and just Google random words and just click whatever sites pop up. You might have images appearing on your computer screen you wish you had never seen before. Be careful larger thoughts guard what you expose yourself to this is the idea that is being conveyed only one thing that not only should men not be looking lustfully at whim of the women need to think very carefully about the way they present themselves so they don't encourage loss. Don't look at me that way girls you know what I'm talking about the way you dress what you wear what you don't wear will you tell good that you know what I'm talking about. Well, should I dress the doctor were sackcloth tenderness across this nice knowing. You can still be stylish. You can dress still dressed in a cool way, but just maybe apply this principle act as though Jesus were picking you up and taking you out that night. Would you feel comfortable wearing what you're wearing going home right now is that thing is if guys I'm going home is a great give me a break.

Some guys with lust after a tree. This is true, but there is a responsibility on the part of the girl as well is a word that we seem to of taken out of her vocabulary. We need to get back again: modesty and Christian girls are to apply.

So here's the answer. Look at verse 29.

So if you're all I causes utilized, gouge it out and throw it away. So there you go.

And if you're right hand since cut it off because it's better to lose your arm or your hand or your eye, and then I'll make it into heaven know what is that mean will obviously Jesus is not speaking literally because of the problem is in the heart. What good gouging out and I are cutting off a hand if the right eye were gone.

The left one can still look lustfully of the right hand were gone. The left one could still carry on in flax. Let's understand what he was saying in the culture of the time in the Jewish culture, the right again represented a person's best skill. A most precious faculties. The right eye represented one's best vision in the right can once best skill.

So here's what Jesus is saying, to whatever is necessary to keep yourself from falling in the said and sometimes you have to take drastic measures maybe are in a relationship right now and you've allowed it to become sexual and it Dragon it out. You need to probably just cut that relationship off right now and needs to be a serious step. Maybe you have a problem with Internet pornography and and you get what you know what, at the very least put a filter on your computer but maybe you need to just stink and unplug the computer stop going online that I'm not seen for everyone glancing for some people this is a weakness and a vulnerability. You may have to take extra steps in the right direction. Do whatever it takes to walk right before God. That's the idea of geology out and I or cutting off an arm. Hebrews 12 says, let us lay aside the sin and the way that so easily beset the 60s we legislate by the way, the sin that so easily beset you and the weight varies from person to person.

What may be awake for one may not necessarily be a weight for another. What brings one person down doesn't necessarily bring another person So we each have to make these decisions before God not having established this. Let's read some of the hardest statements Jesus ever made. These may be easy for you, but they're not easy for me. Verse 38 heard that it has been said and I friend either too afraid to but I tell you not to resist an evil person, whoever slaps you on the right cheek turned to him the other also.

If someone wants to see you and take away your tenant but him have your cloak as well.

Whoever compels you to go 1 mile, go with them to give to Kim last to and from human wants to borrow from you. Do not turn away. You've heard that it has been said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

But I say undo you, love your enemies, bless those that curse you, too good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you, and needless to say, these are high standards turning the other cheek going the extra mile. Loving your enemies now. The question, are these standards by which we govern society, and if so how can we justify having military and police the 19th century Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote a book entitled what I believe would you give the conclusion that he came to after reading and rereading the sermon on the Mount Tolstoy said and I quote Christ for bids. The human institution of any court because they resist evil and even return evil for evil. Toy Story also believe that criminals love good and he evil as we do, and he did not think that a Christian should be involved in the Army or the police force or the courts of law. One man who was dramatically influenced by Tolstoy's teachings was Gandhi. Gandhi believed by practicing these teachings. You could bring about a perfect state where punishment would end and prisons would be turned in the school sounds good but it's wrong what the teachings of Jesus know their interpretation of the sermon on the Mount was not given as a set of principles by which we govern our society does somebody means harm toward another. The police officer supposed to turn the other cheek were attacked by a foreign power to want to destroy us were supposed to just go the extra mile. No, there is a place for self-defense. There is a place for standing your ground the biblical teaching of the sermon on the Mount was given by Jesus for believers to live by. But if you want to know how society should be governed.

That's on the verse 38 you prayed that it has been said and I for an eye and a tooth for tooth in Exodus 21 it continues on and it says hand for hand, foot for foot burn for burn roots for bruise one for will a modern equivalent would be tit-for-tat. This was the Hebrew civic justice system, its purpose, according to Deuteronomy 1921 so that the rest will herein be afraid, and never again do such an evil thing among this was never carried out by the victim but by the legal system. It was a merciful law because of limited the judgment it matched the punishment to the offense. God has established government is established military and he is even established the use of force when necessary, because Romans 13 says obey the government, for it is God put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the laws of lender refusing to obey God and punishment will follow with the authorities do not frighten people were doing right but they frighten those were doing wrong to do what they say and you'll get along well then, speaking of the soldier or in our case, the police officer as well.

The Bible says he's God's servant doing good and he does not bear the sword for nothing.

He's God's servant and agent of wrath to bring punishment for the wrong doer. What is a sword used for its use to usually kill a person.

A modern equivalent draft should be a gun God delegates vengeance for the enforcing of justice to the government. Otherwise, evil people will dominate. And so, according to Scripture, government, law enforcement and military all have their place of God ordained plates.

In fact, the Bible even uses a soldier as a model of what a Christian ought to be. Paul spent a lot of time around Roman soldiers in the analyze their gear.

We were in Rome. After we went to Israel and I saw this little store that sold recreations of Roman armor and I was fascinated by was looking at various pieces and these are actual reproductions of of what would've been like the went back to the original drawings and design so they had the breastplate that you put on the leather one and then they had one made out of brass that was very heavy in the had the helmet, which of course I had to put on my head and try out the sword. Give no one in the bid large seal that the Roman soldier would carry and so forth and it was fascinating to study that armor. Paul spent a lot of time doing so because in the peace and 60 talks about putting on the armor of God, you know, the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith in the sword of the Spirit, and so forth.

But my point is that God would never have chosen the dishonorable profession as an illustration for a Christian. He is the idea of the military to show how we should follow Jesus because second Timothy two reinforces indoor suffering that could soldier of Jesus Christ and his Christ soldier don't think tied up again in the affairs of this life, for then he cannot satisfy the one was a listed you in his army to bring this up because someone say the Bible teaches pacifism. Jesus was the ultimate pacifist Jesus was the first hippie right.

Peace and love man. No, actually that's not true at all. Jesus administered justice when he drove those moneychangers out of the temple with a weapon overturned their table. He told his disciples of coming dangerous days where they may need sword and Peter mentioned that they already had two swords now why would they carry sore for shish kebab later know for self defense. So this is important. God is established human government to administer justice. It is acceptable for a Christian to defend themselves and exercise the right. Even the apostle Paul when he was falsely charged and beaten the exercise this right is a Roman citizen.

The Bible is not saying that the Christian is supposed to be some kind of a doormat.

Now having established. What this doesn't mean let's talk about what it does me. This is the advice of Jesus for a specific situation in which a believer is being persecuted.

These are not mechanical rules but principles for meeting the personal wrongs that come to those that follow him. There are times for the sake of the kingdom over the salvation of the soul will take the hit will turn the other cheek will go the extra mile.

The idea is to do what you can to reach a person with the gospel. Paul said in Romans 1219 never pay back evil for evil to anyone, never take your own revenge leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, I will repay, vengeance is mine says the Lord, to the idea here is that we are doing what we can do influence a person Jesus actually uses the example of turning the other cheek in verse 39 now understand this is not so much about summer just coming up and punching you in the face. This is more the idea of an insult that is off because back in these days to be slapped in the face was a deliberate insult demeaning and contemptuous at the summit comes up and they do something to offend you on modern equivalent honor know what it would be. Maybe this spit in someone's face doesn't physically hurt a person, but it's insulting and actually can really angrier I might be using certain words. You know what they say this to you or something else about someone you love or sometimes it's a gesture you see these gestures on the road quite frequently. I will say what they are but they have something to do with birds and will leave it at that and people are so quick to do this you know they'll cut you often then do the gesture to you like what is not all about. And when that happens you are you know you want to do it back or even worse know Jesus is a note to that now is it's an easy one to live by absolutely not. It's very hard, even the great apostle Paul struggled with it. One point the order was given the hit him in the face returned back and said to the high priest got us smite you. You whitewashed wall. So instead you speak that way, the library, so I did notice a high priest.

Sorry. And I think Paul being the member of the Sanhedrin knew the high priest was cutting.

Paul struggled with this, like anyone else does, but here's the point. Even if you struggle with it. The objective is to try to win a person, the Christ first 40. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, what about your coat. The tunic was in undergarment every moment have won the club was the outer garment that served as a blanket at night. It was indispensable for living in Israel, especially in the cold evening Jesus is a call further than they asked don't just give your tunic, give them your cloak go the extra mile to back in those days a Roman soldier had the right to ask any citizen to carry his armor for a Roman mile, a Roman mile was a little bit shorter than our mile and Artie mentioned that armor was looking at one thing I noticed was how heavy it was. The breastplate was really heavy as was the helmet, as was the shield and so Roman folder would C7 say here carry my armor yet to do it. So Jesus as you know, if they ask you to carry their armor ticket for the Roman mile, then going extra mile normally do is take your armor and so heavy you all going extra mile. By the way, let me tell you about my faith and of the idea of a captive audience go the extra mile. She can do that at work instead of giving the bare minimum, give more. Sometimes your coworkers will get mad at you. Frankly, they don't work so hard and making us look bad.

But you see, you understand that your boss is not your employer. It's the Lord do you do it for the glory of God go the extra mile go a little bit further than that which is required doing for the sake of the gospel to win the hearing of the person that you are trying to reach trying to churn your enemies into friends and know this. If you are a follower of Jesus, you're going to have enemies. Why, because darkness doesn't like light. Jesus said in John 15 of the world hates you, knowing hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world. The world of love its own yet because you're not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

But no, were told to love our enemies. Verse 44.

Bless those that curse us too good to those who hate us and pray for those who spitefully use and persecuted us don't strike out. Don't give tit-for-tat but love them in a positive way.

Abraham Lincoln said, quote the best way to destroy an enemy is to make friends."

Jeff's amenities right now. Try to win them over, not just as a friend, but as a follower of Jesus Christ. This attitude blows people's minds when they see a Christian willing to forget a Christian willing to turn the other cheek a Christian willing to go the extra mile was the attitude that Abraham had toward his nephew Lot when he offered him the best land. It was the attitude that David had when he did not strike back at King Saul.

Though he was trying to take his life was the attitude that Joseph had when he extended forgiveness to his brothers to admit him. Dad that was the attitude that young Stephen had when he prayed for those that were stoning him, saying, Lord, don't lay the sin to their charge. Maybe as we talk about some of these things, you realize that your guilty of some of the things Jesus is addressed. Maybe your harboring hatred in your heart towards someone right now.

Maybe you're feeding the lost and it's getting worse, like a wildfire taking you over while we need God's help to live by these principles.

No one can do this on their own and who is a greater example of what Jesus taught that Jesus himself everything Jesus told us to do. He practiced he told us to turn the other cheek.

He literally did that when they rip the beard from his face. He told us to go the extra mile. He literally did that when he carried his cross of the streets of Jerusalem. He told us to love our enemies, and he literally did that one is first word from Calvary work.

Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

Those words are so radical, so unexpected that they produce the conversion of a man who was crucified next job, a hardened criminal would see that all done at all. And yet when the year. Jesus forgive the ones who would treated him this way, he believed, on the spot and said, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus said, today I say to you today will be with me in paradise. Yes Jesus forgives and maybe some of us need his forgiveness today that we broken some of these commandments, these principles given to us in this sermon.

This is the time to say Lord forgive me for that and help me to live is your child in a way that honors and glorifies you. Maybe some of you hearing these things would realize I'm not a Christian at all because I do of hatred toward people or I have been a fair weather follower. I'm a person that follows them only when it's convenient. I haven't really gone to that next level of total commitment as we close now in prayer, to give you an opportunity to make a first time commitment or a recommitment to Jesus Christ. Let's all pray Lord we would admit to you that we fall short of your standards we would acknowledge Lord that we have sinned against you, but we also with thankfully acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross for our sin and paid the price for every wrong is ever been done and I pray for any person here, Lord, that does not yet know you help them to see their need for you and help them to come to you now our heads about and her eyes are closing were praying. Maybe God is spoken your heart today and you realize that you are not really a Christian, you don't really have Christ living inside of you, but you want to be one you want to change you want to be forgiven of your sin, you want to know God in a personal way you want to go to heaven when you die.

If you've never asked Jesus to come in your life you don't know right now that you would go to heaven when you die and you want Christ to come in your life right in your life today I want to lift your candor forever your city to pray for you today. If you want Christ to come in your life. God bless you over here in the side of the shoe me, but he also slipped her hand up and I'll pray for you today. God bless you up there in the balcony. God bless you as well. Anybody else with your hand up now if you want Jesus Christ to come in your life and forgive you of your sin. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you up in the balcony. Maybe your outside of the amphitheater.

I can see you there. But I would ask you to lift your hand up as well. If you want Jesus to come into your life and you up in the court building.

Please list your handle so I can see you but the Lord sees you want is forgiveness today. Maybe some of you have been like a fair weather follower.

You know you say you're a Christian, but you know you're not living these principles you're not even trying but you want to you want to be a real follower of Jesus, and you're willing to commit yourself to do this today if that's your desire would you lift your hand while pray for you, bless you publishing anybody also slipped her hand up now, bless each one of you, ask all of you that just lift your hand if you would please stand your feet and on the lead you in a prayer, a prayer of commitment. A recommitment to Jesus again you did look to drink and just stand your feet wherever you are up there in the balcony here in the ground floor outside in the amphitheater stand here feet you up in the court building to stand up right now nominally join a prayer of commitment anybody else to stand.

Now, even if you didn't lift your hand but you want to make this commitment a recommitment to Jesus stand up now anybody else publishing publishing anybody else in this final moment outside inside wherever you are standard now lowly Juniper compass. Each one of you.

All right all of you that are standing pray this prayer out loud after me.

This is a prayer of commitment to Jesus Christ again as I prayed. Pray this out loud after me now pray this, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. I've broken your commandment.

I have fallen short of your standard which you went to the cross died for my sin and you rose again from the dead. I sure now for my sin. I put my faith in you. I choose to follow you, Jesus. From this moment forward, I would be your disciple and your child and your friend thank you for calling me and for giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen and amen. God bless each one of you that


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