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Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2021 7:05 am

Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 9, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Arrival: A Study of Matthew 1‑7: A Signature Series

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Today from Chuck Swindoll. When God wanted to express Himself most clearly, He incarnated. He came in person. Jesus, the image of the invisible God, came in the flesh in order to show us the invisible God. In our country and around the world, lawmakers are proposing regulations that greatly inhibit the freedom of speech. In the process, Bible teachers are under scrutiny for teaching the truth of the Bible when it seems to infringe on personal feelings. And yet Jesus, in His famous Sermon on the Mount, spoke fearlessly and without a filter. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll invites us to open our Bibles to Matthew chapter 7. In this passage, we discover the refreshing way Jesus addressed highly sensitive issues with courage and clarity.

Chuck titled today's message, Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings. Somehow I think in the deepest part of my heart that there was a treasured love for music with the Apostle Paul. On occasion, he will write of that as he blends the thought of the power of music with the power of the Word of God. For example, when he wrote the Colossians, he exhorted them in the third chapter to let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Perhaps you've never thought of it before, but when you sing, you admonish one another, you teach one another. We're putting together the same words from a page and we're lifting those words and those notes and we're turning them into life. As you grow in your walk, cultivate a deep respect for the arts.

Let the color and the beauty of that part of our world wrap itself around you. Our God who created all truth is the one who gifts individuals to do what they do. It is easy for us to become myopic or so verbal that that is the limit of our appreciation for what God is saying and doing.

So when you are with those who are creative, realize they are special gifts along the journey given to add color and beauty to our world. There was none like Jesus, the best of all, and in his magnificent Sermon on the Mountain, he really does deliver his soul to those who have gathered to listen. We don't know their names who came to listen, we don't know the number who were there, but it is interesting that these words live on to this day, touching our lives as directly and perhaps as convictingly as his audience when he first spoke them. The full sermon is in chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew's Gospel, and we've come now in our study of Matthew to this seventh chapter, we're looking at verses 13 through 23. We have entered now the finale of the sermon, and in this part he applies it directly in words that are not politically correct.

That's why they're so great. And all the way through he leaves us with choices, and you can only make one, and in each case you have two to choose from. See if you can pick those out as we see them, verses 13 through 23. Matthew 7, 13, Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. There are the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles are they. So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles, and then I will say, I will declare to them I never knew you.

Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness. You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to insightworld.org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck titled, Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings. Well, one thing's for sure, Jesus did not get his sermon off a website. And I'll tell you another one.

He did not get government approval to say what he had to say, because that government would have never approved it, would have never allowed him to make such claims as he made, and to call things good or bad when that's such a politically incorrect thing to say. And furthermore, he never listened to one of the rabbis or Pharisees preach and then stole one of those sermons. And I'll tell you one more thing.

He didn't just come to the hill and suddenly hit from the hip. He'd been thinking about it for a long time. Think about it. He'd lived for 30 years as a carpenter's helper alongside Joseph, and then after Joseph died it was his shop, and he remained there in Nazareth for a long period of time. Think of all the synagogue services he went to, and all the sermons he listened to, and all of the dull stuff that poured out of the mouths of scribes, and all the legalistic stuff that came from the Pharisees. He's all the time taking this in. He's not a spokesman.

They don't even know what his future is. But all the while, in the back of his mind, he's putting it together. And during this period of time, he's thinking about that day when he will be on that little mound called the mountain in the colloquialism of Christian thought, the Sermon on the Mount, which is a little like a mount here in Frisco.

The highest thing here are the tollways that come up and down. That's that kind of a mount. But he had put it all together. Think of it. And then when he sat down, and it was his moment to deliver, he had thought it through. I mean, it would have been wonderful to have been one of those people sitting there as he sat down to teach, having given all this thought before he delivered his message. I read somewhere not long ago of a preacher that lived in the parsonage, which was only about a block away from the church. And the church wasn't growing much. He told his elders on one occasion, you know, I found a way. I prepare my sermon between the house and the church.

You know what they did? They bought a parsonage 10 miles away to give him a little more time. I was running all of this by Cynthia as we were talking about this sermon, and I said to her, think of it. He had 30 years to prepare it. She said, honey, he had centuries to prepare it. That's my line.

Why didn't I think of that? She's right. All through the eons of the past, all through the eras of the Old Testament, all the way through the in between the Testament era, all the way to when he came. And then when he grew up and became a man until finally he had his moment and he sat down to deliver this immortal message. What it must have been like. Wouldn't you have loved to have heard his voice? Wouldn't it have been great to know what his voice sounded like?

How he would pause and look at different individuals and maybe point to one or another. It's like jaw dropping relevant when you read it. Isn't it amazing? First century stuff still linking up with 21st century people.

You don't have to do any mental gymnastics to realize this is convicting and courageous and compelling stuff. This is the kind of thing you and I can take with us to our work in the morning, to our homes when we go there. This is the kind of thing we can draw from when we make tough decisions or deal with things like sickness or disappointment or criticism or facing the reality of death. It's all here in this great sermon. Whoever reads these words and understands how they are in touch with where we live, I think could outline them in 12 words.

Let me give them to you. Chapter 5, I would give the title, Out with Hypocrisy. Out with Hypocrisy, he gives the beatitudes and he tells you there needs to be character, deep character, real life character. You are salt and you are light and you therefore make a difference in the places where you go and the life you live.

And as he finishes Chapter 5, he talks about modeling purity in a world of impurity. So out with hypocrisy, no more foldiness, which brings you to Chapter 6, down with performance. Down with performance, whether you're giving or praying or fasting, you're doing it for an audience of one. You're not doing it to impress anybody else with eloquent words or a sad look as if you've been fasting for hours or maybe even days. You don't put on a show. You stay off the stage. You're not showing off. You're literally giving yourself to the joy of giving, praying and fasting and you're doing it for the glory of God.

So down with performance. When you get to the first five verses of Chapter 7, which we saw last time, we learned up with acceptance. Take care of the log that's in your eye as opposed to the speck that's in your brother's eye. Remember that?

Take care of the log in your own eye, then you'll be able to help your sister or brother with that tiny little splinter or speck that's in their eye. So up with acceptance. We get to accept rather than have this judgmental spirit about us, as he says as he starts that seventh chapter and begins to move toward the finale. And finally he comes to the wrapping up time and I think he says in verse 6 to the end, on with commitment.

On with commitment. Stay true to the faith regardless. Be alert to the dogs and hogs.

Remember that message? You've got those who are dogs and hogs. Be aware of it when you're around it. Don't try to push this great truth into the lives of those who don't want it.

Remember the little vignette I gave you? Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig. So you find yourself around those who are annoyed with spiritual things, saying it louder, talking longer, pushing your message will do no good. Wait until the time is right.

And you know what? For some it may never be right. So you need to be discerning as you are dealing with the hearts and lives of other people. Stay on your knees.

Remember what he said about that? No matter what, keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. On with commitment.

Treat others like you would want to be treated. Anybody bored? Anybody realize how relevant this is and is there a soul listening that could say this is irrelevant? You know the best part of all? I'm going to teach you a new way of thinking about his preaching. What he did was incarnational communication. Incarnational communication. That's what makes the live message so memorable.

We can hear something recorded, but it's not the same as seeing and hearing it live. When God wanted to express himself most clearly, he incarnated. He came in person. Jesus, the image of the invisible God, came in the flesh in order to show us the invisible God. I'll tell you, if we could have heard him preach this message, we would have never forgotten it.

No one could deliver it as he delivered it. When he gets toward the end, he dares you to remain neutral. He says to you in so many words, you cannot remain on the fence. You've got to get off one side or the other.

Now, you're not going to like that if you're politically correct. You're not going to like that if you have a broad-minded thought life and you were trained in the higher educational world and you were exposed to those who said, you don't cut off your head and commit intellectual suicide when it comes to truth. Who knows what truth is? Who knows where bad stops and good starts? It's all relative. And along comes Jesus to say, there is a wide and there's a narrow gate. There's a good and there's a bad tree. There's a right response and a wrong response. It's shocking in a world like ours where the majority would scoff at that and say, give me a break. Life isn't that simplistic.

Really? Then why did he say what he said? Did he suddenly start lying to us?

He is the God-man and if he came to deliver truth, since he said I'm the way, the truth and the life, this must be included in truth. So you and I have to come to terms with it, whether we like it or not, whether we were taught to think like that or not. And trust me, your kids in school are not being taught to think like that.

And if it's tough on them when they're teenagers, wait till they get to the university. And there are profs who are there who take delight in demolishing simplistic faith. So let's get a dose of what he said and let the application speak for itself. I see three paired alternatives in this part. There's probably four when you get to the house that's built on sand or rock. But let's take the first three. We've got a gate that's narrow or a gate that's wide.

Paired alternatives, one or the other. So take off your people-pleasing cap, put on your thinking cap and let the words mean what they say. Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small or and, he says, the gate is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

You know what? I take it literally. There will always be more unbelievers than believers. There will always be more non-Christians than Christians.

There will always be less who think of the narrow way and far more who take the broad way. He says it. That is the gate and there are many who enter through it. Is that where you are? I can't tell by looking. I may be able to tell if I listen long enough to what you're saying, but just for a moment you examine your own gate.

Is that where you are? Narrow or wide? The Evangelical scholar C.S. Lewis, for the longest time, lived in the broad world of intellectualism, where people were impressed with letters behind the name and academic achievement and intellectual excellence. He ran in the crowd and was one of the group. He writes of it in his excellent autobiography as he talks about being surprised by joy. He was 13 years old as a schoolboy, and he can pinpoint the time when the wide gate opened up to him. The broad way attracted him. He wrote, I was soon altering, I believe, to one does feel. And oh, the relief of it. From the tyrannous noon of revelation, I passed into the cool evening twilight of higher thought, for there was nothing to be obeyed and nothing to be believed except what was either comforting or exciting. It's appealing. Don't come down too hard there. No, you can't say this is wrong or that.

No, don't go there, please, please. Think, why do you think God gave you a mind but narrow? And along comes Jesus who says the gate is narrow and the way leads to life eternal, and the gate is broad and leads to a path that most take.

It leads to destruction. Remember Proverbs 14, 12. There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death, wrote Solomon the Wise. It seems right, but it's death.

Makes you think, doesn't it? Jesus says, only entrance here. The only entrance to life eternal. Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through me. It's refreshing, even somewhat shocking, to see how Jesus spoke the truth without fear of retribution.

We're listening to Insight for Living and a message from Chuck Swindoll titled, Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings. To learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org. Although Jesus' Sermon on the Mount comprises only three chapters in the Gospel of Matthew, in many respects it represents the core of Jesus' earthly ministry. Chuck wrote a book on Jesus' sermon and it's become a long-standing classic. His book is called Simple Faith. If you've been cynical about religion because of the hypocrisy you've experienced, or you've become jaded by a lack of authenticity you've witnessed in religious circles, then you'll appreciate this wake-up call from Jesus. It's the foundation of Chuck's book, Simple Faith. And to purchase a copy right now, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888. Or it might be more convenient for you if you go directly to insight.org slash offer. And then as God leads you, please remember the influence of your donation to Insight for Living. Our website and our email inbox are filled with affirming notes from grateful listeners. People from all walks of life are benefiting from the gifts you send. So thank you for your donation. You know, Chuck delivers the sermons. Our staff puts together this program.

But it's people like you who give flight to Insight for Living. So to give a donation right now, call us. If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888.

You can also go online to insight.org. And then as we enter into the weekend, remember you're invited to join us online for the Sunday morning worship service at Stonebriar Community Church. In addition to hearing Chuck's sermon, you can participate in the congregational singing as well. You'll find all the instructions for streaming the live worship service at insight.org slash sundays. . Travelers who want to take a tour to Israel have lots of choices, but few measure up to the thoughtful journey prepared by Insight for Living Ministries. With a proper mix of historical information and biblical context, we provide ample opportunities to pause and let the wonder in.

Our goal is to create special moments when you deepen your love for the Bible and draw closer to your Lord. Experience an unforgettable 12-day tour to Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 6 through 17, 2022. To help you grasp the significance of each site, you'll be accompanied by hand-picked Israeli guides, and we choose the best, along with seminary-trained pastors and professors to enhance your spiritual journey. No organization I know of offers this level of exceptional, in-depth instruction and personal care for Holy Land travelers. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along sacred sites and watching the Bible come to life. Make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries' tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. Join us again Monday when Chuck Swindoll continues his message called Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings, right here on Insight for Living. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-03 17:35:41 / 2023-12-03 17:44:31 / 9

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