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November 7, 2021 6:00 am
You know at Christmas time every year. Untold thousands of people go to hear performances of George Frederick Handel's oratorio, the Messiah, as part of the Messiah.
One of the most famous choruses in is called for unto us a son is born in in this chorus handles brings together a list of biblical titles for the Messiah. He says wonderful Counselor, mighty God, the everlasting father, the Prince of peace. Now we want to pick one of these titles today and talk about it because it forms the foundation for one of the most outrageous things that Jesus ever said, remember that we are in a series entitled Jesus is most outrageous things were going through the New Testament and repenting out 12 of the most outrageous radical things Jesus never said, never doing a message on every one of them and asking the question. Well, so what we've already done. Eight were ready today for number nine and so if you brought your Bible today. I'd like to ask you to turn with me to Matthew chapter 10.
If you did not bring your Bible today here in the main auditorium. You'll find a copy of the Bible right under your arm rest of your tenure were going to be on page 688, page 688 of our copy. Matthew chapter 10 in your copy.
And here in Matthew chapter 10 we find Jesus sending out his disciples, but before we do that, let me talk to you minute about this term, the Prince of peace. You know, Handel got that name for the Messiah right out of Isaiah chapter 9 verse six. In fact, throughout the Old Testament.
The Bible consistently presents the Messiah as the person was going to bring true peace to this planet of Micah chapter 4 verse three. The Messiah will judge between the nations and settle disputes for the peoples. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and there's beers into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Now you may know that this verse is actually written on the wall of the United Nations building in New York.
We call it the United nothing but you can call it whatever you want and what the verse is actually written there. But yet it refers to the Messiah. Zechariah chapter 9 verse nine rejoice, O daughter of Zion, behold, your King is coming to you humble, and mounted on a donkey's rule will be from sea to sea, and he will speak peace to the nations. In fact, this concept of the Messiah that he would be the Prince of peace was the dominant theme of the Messiah at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ and knowing this helps us appreciate how radical and outrageous. What Jesus is about to say here in Matthew chapter 10 really was and is.
So let's pick up here in Matthew 10 Jesus as I said is sending his disciples out to go out and preach him to preach about him and he's warning them here in this chapter about the kind of reception that were there going to receive when they go out for 17 Matthew 10 be on your guard against men. Jesus said, for they will deliver you up to their to their courts and they will beat you in their synagogues. Verse 21 because of me. Jesus said brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child.
All men will hate you because of me and I'm sure at this point, Jesus's disciples must've been a little confused. I'm sure they were thinking a Jesus you're the Messiah right what happened. All this Prince of peace. People beating their swords into plowshares, seeking peace, all the nation stuff seeing their confusion. Jesus said one of the most outrageous thing he's ever said look with me at verse 34 Jesus said to them, to not suppose that I have come to bring peace on the earth. Is that what you mean. Of course, you do look like I'm going to suppose that, of course, that's why you came. You are the Prince of peace know Jesus said I'm sorry, not in this age. I'm not when I come back at the end of this age, Jesus says when I defeat the forces of the antichrist at the end of this age. When I establish the millennial kingdom at the end of this age and rule that kingdom personally from Jerusalem. Then and only then Jesus says will I function as the Prince of peace. But in this age. In the meantime, things are not going to be like that. He continues verse 34 continues in this age, Jesus says, I did not come to bring peace but a sword. In this age, Jesus said I am going to be a divisive issue in the world. In this age, Jesus says I am going to be despised by much of the human race. In this age, Jesus said, my followers are going to be hated and abused because of me. Jesus says in this age of a person decides to follow me. The result will often be not peace in their relationships with people around them, but rather a sore conflict hostility rejection opposition. Verse 35 for I have come to turn a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
Verse 36 in a person's enemies will be the members of his own household.
It was interesting to me when the apostle Paul was riding on the road to Damascus acceptor nine and God knocked him off his horse to the ground. You remember the story and then he sent Ananias a follower of Christ to announce to Paul Paul's call to the ministry.
It's interesting to me what God told Ananias to tell Paul first. The first thing that God announced the Paul was not hey Paul, guess what you're going to write 48% of the New Testament. That's not the first thing on and I said to him, the first Ananias that the Paul Paul guess what you're going to start hundreds of churches and lead thousands of people to Christ. Ananias, the first thing out of is not mouth was not hey Paul doing to change the history of the whole Western world, and by the time it's over.
Churches will put little pictures up with you would little gold halo over your head. That is what he said the poll was the first thing Ananias said to Paul, on behalf of God. He said acts 916 I'm going to show you Paul how much you must suffer for my name's sake. Jesus said, here's what I want to know about everything else. Paul, if you decide to follow me. It's not going to bring peace to your life. It's going to bring a sword to your life.
Now the Bible repeats this message over and over folks. Jesus himself said John 16 to to his disciples.
He said they will throw you out of their synagogues.
In fact, an hour is coming when anyone who kills you kills one of you will think that he is doing God's service.
Paul said in second Timothy chapter 3 he said Timothy truly everyone who wants to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. First Peter chapter 4 Peter says do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you, stand firm, knowing that this same suffering that you're going through is followers of Christ is being experienced by fellow believers throughout the world Prince what's the bottom line here.
Bottom line is that in this age, it's going to cost us something to follow Jesus Christ and Jesus is looking for people in this age who love him enough that they're willing to pay that cost look when he goes on to say Matthew 10 verse 37 he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. The folks these are hard words and they are not words for cowards.
That's as far as were going to go in the passage. For right now it's time for us to ask the most important question and so is everybody ready for that. Okay here we go. My smile ready 123 saline yeah so what say so what difference does it make to me. I will go to synagogue are not going to beat me up and throw me out of the synagogue Otto go there what it was and is made to me well and see if we can bring it home to your life so we know there's there's a term that my boys used to use when they were in high school growing up when they in referring to other people.
They used to often call somebody a weatherman that when they call somebody a weatherman. They were not talking about a meteorologist like Bob Ryan, you understand what I'm saying what they meant by the word weatherman was a person who goes. Whichever way the wind is blowing a person waffle a person who refuses to take a stand of person who has no authentic convictions and no core beliefs for which they are willing to suffer and even die. Now we all know people like this don't say Charlotta mean the U.S. House and Senate are full of well that's right you're right there you go and you know I was growing up we didn't call these people. Weatherman we called him since sitters people who sat on the fence and it wouldn't go one way or the other that what you call them a weatherman. Whether you call them a fence sitter. The point is that Jesus doesn't like these, people no matter what you call and he doesn't want his followers being these, people listen to what he said he wrote the church of Laodicea, a church that existed in south-central Turkey in the time of all of the apostle John when he wrote the book of Revelation, and here's what he said to this church.
Revelation 315. He said I know your works, that you are neither hot nor cold your fence sitter your weatherman so because you are lukewarm I will print you out of my mouth very strong language. But Jesus wants to communicate something very strongly to us. He wants to communicate is not looking for weatherman is not looking for fence sitters is looking for men and women who are willing to stand up and be counted for him regardless of the cost he's looking for people who will be loyal to him about everything else in this world, people you can count on in a firefight. Those are the kind of people. Jesus is looking for. I ran into this little I guess it's a I don't know quite what to call it. It's called the Fellowship of the unashamed was written by a young pastor in Zimbabwe who was later killed for his faith. I want you to hear what he said is that I'm part of the Fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of his. I won't look back.
Let up, slow down, back away or be still my past is redeemed, my present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living slights walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, team divisions, worldly talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don't have to be right or first or top or recognized or praised or regarded or rewarded.
I now live by faith I lean on his presence.
I walked by patients. I am uplifted by prayer and I labor with power, by the way, you get a copy of this back at the tech foods if you wanted before you leave the friends. This is a young man who was crossed over the fence. This is a young man who is through with being a weatherman and friends this. If you claim to know Jesus Christ in a real and personal ways. This is where God wants you to be and where he wants me to be. Now I have found my 35 years of being a believer that there are three very common fences that people tend to get hung up on three very common fences were people get partway over and then they have trouble going over the rug that the rest of the way and so I want to talk to you about those in closing because I suspect that if you're sitting on a fence here today in terms of your commitment to Christ. It's probably one of these three fences. We walked off the fence. But let's identify what they are first the first fence that people tend to get hung up on is the fence that Jesus talks about right here in Matthew chapter 10 the sense of family ties. What did Jesus say here, Matthew 10 verse 35, he said, for I have come to turn a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a person's enemies will be the members of their own household because of their faith in me. There is evidence throughout the New Testament that when a Jewish person embraced Jesus when they openly confess Jesus as their Messiah.
In the first century that the people People's member of the members of their own family became their worst enemies. We know things and not change much over the last 2000 years. Even in today's world when a person chooses to follow Jesus Christ.
There is often a huge price to pay in a person's family, Jewish parents still hold funerals for children who give their life to Christ and pronounce them, then that still happens today in Muslim families often is people's own brothers and sisters and moms and dads to turn them into the authorities when they confess Christ in Jehovah witnesses hold very often when you decide to leave the witnesses and go become an evangelical if your members of your own family who take the lead in pronouncing you anathema, never speaking to you again.
Husband many times walk out on wives when those wives come to Christ to get serious about their walking with Christ and vice versa. Boyfriends often break up with girlfriends when the girl comes to Christ and says I'm not having sex with you anymore. It breaks things up very often and parents will often say to children who decide God is calling them to serve him, they will often say will look I'm not going to be a part of you throwing your life away. If you want to go be a missionary somewhere you're going to do it without any financial support or help for me. I want no part of your on your own foster Jesus said when you embrace me. It is liable to cause real trouble in your family and many others here know exactly what I'm talking about because you've been through what did Jesus say about this. He said let's remind ourselves. He who loves father or mother or son or daughter or husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend more than me is not worthy of me. Jesus says I want you off that fence and over.
You may not know the name Rabbi Leopold: Rabbi Leopold: I just read his autobiography last week. I want to tell you little bit about this dear man of God. He was a Orthodox rabbi in Hungary in the late 1800s and he developed an insatiable hunger to know who the Messiah was. He went to an older rabbi in Hungary and ask you know the Messiah is in the rabbis that I don't.
But if you go to America. I bet somebody there could tell you. And so he left his wife and his four children and he came to America and to make a long story short, he bumped into a man on the streets of New York City, who handed him a Hebrew New Testament. He read it and gave his life to Christ. Now, when when he gave his life to Christ and he rode home and told everybody he found the Messiah's family immediately branded him as an apostle date and as a traitor. First of all, the extended family refused to let his wife and children leave Hungary and come to New York to join him. Then one uncle actually hired a detective to Taylor's life and make sure she didn't sneak out of the country. Finally some of his friends were able to sneak her in the four children out and get them to New York. When they got to New York. Rabbi Cohen's extended family tried to hire people to kidnap them and take them all back to Hungary and when all of this failed every one of his relatives got together and wrote them a letter with a black ribbon and it and told him that the black ribbon represented their morning him as dead and as far as they were concerned he was dead. Don't ever call and talk to them or contact them again for the rest of his life.
So rabbi: found himself in New York City.
Family list penniless and friendless, but he had a passion for Jewish people to bring them to Christ.
And so we opened the little storefront in Brooklyn you see it on the screen where he began preaching Jesus to Jewish people. Now you have the hard life he lived on less than $1000 a year. Many times, his family went to bed hungry. His for his the children were often beat up by other Jewish children in the neighborhood for their faith in Christ. Nonetheless, that storefront mission turned into the American Board of missions to the Jews folk you need to understand that every Jewish mission that exists in America today evolved from the American Board of missions to the Jews in that little storefront that he started in 1894, 23 Jesus friends of Israel chosen people. They all came from Rabbi Leopold Cohen's work, you need to understand that at arete Rabbi Cohen's example is what convinced Gentiles here in America. The Jewish people can actually be reached before Rabbi Cohen Gentiles didn't think any Jewish person could be reached for Christ to put it another way, virtually every Jewish believer alive in the world today.
All 60,000 of us on the human level have Rabbi Leopold: the thing for our salvation, but here's my point. There would've been no storefront mission there would've been no American Board of missions to the Jews. There would've been no Jews for Jesus, there would've been no Gentile Christians reaching out to Jewish people have Rabbi Leopold Cohen loved his father and his mother and his brothers and his sisters more than the law of Christ. But he didn't thank God he didn't friends some time saying yes to Jesus Christ mean saying no to family and Jesus is looking for people who are willing to go over this fence.
If you're here today in your follower of Christ. He wants you to be one of the people who go over that fence fence number two that often hangs people off his defense of creature comforts. Luke chapter 9 verse 57 and as they were walking along the road.
A man said to Jesus, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go. Jesus said really okay what foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but I don't have a single place to lay my head. Jesus said really you want to follow me wherever I'm going to go will I just need to tell you something son is going to cost you in terms of your creature comforts you know I let me tell you where I'm going. I'm going to Jerusalem. That's where I'm going and I'm not going there to stay at the Hilton and Ronald air-conditioned tourist buses any gourmet meals and walked the Via Dolorosa taken pictures with my Nikon. That's not what I'm going there I'm going to Jerusalem to go to the cross. Do you understand that and in the meantime I don't even have a place to lay my head. I don't even have a place to call home. I have no fancy clothes to wear, and no fancy meals to eat. You follow me.
Jesus says to this guy and it's going to cost you something. In terms of your creature comforts with this is the second fence, but a lot of people get hung up on my friends there question is, what's it gonna cost me in terms of creature comfort to follow Jesus Christ and I'm here to tell you it's going to cost you some in the state. Maybe it will cost to lower grades in school because you can't cheat like everybody else in the class. Maybe it's going to cost her loss of his social status with your friends because your outspoken about your faith in Christ.
Maybe it's gonna cost you big business deal because you're not able to lie and misrepresent the facts. Does your follower of Christ and the deal gets lost.
Maybe it's going to cost you money in your pocket because you gotta tell the truth on your 1040. Maybe it's going to cost you driving an old car and where an old foods and signal furniture and using old golf clubs and walking on old carpet because you committed yourself to giving sacrificially to the work of Christ here on this earth. Maybe it's gonna cost you leisure time and sleep because you're dedicated to serving Christ with your life. Folks listen. Jesus is not against us enjoying the good things of this life. Don't you ever believe that so long as so long as when he asks us to put him ahead of those things we are willing to do so without hesitation. These are the people that Jesus is looking for people who love him more than they love us. People were willing to go over the fence of their creature comforts to serve him and walk with him and if your follower of Christ here today.
This is the kind of person Jesus wants you, third, and finally fence number three is the fence of our personal independence asked 17 when Paul showed up in Thessalonica. Here's what the people in that town said they said these men who have turned the world upside down have come here now they are defying Caesar's decree. How by saying there is another king one call Jesus. These people understood perfectly what Paul was preaching he was preaching Caesar is not king of this world. Jesus is King of this world and friends. Not only is Jesus, King of the world but is King of every single person's life in this world. Now we as Americans don't cotton very well to kings ruling over us and telling us what to do.
We as Americans in fact on cotton very well to anybody telling us what to do. We like to be our own bosses. We like to determine our own destinies whom we like to set our own boundaries and we like to do what we feel like doing. That's why people drive the speed they do on the Beltway because they don't care what the speed limit is they want to do what I want to do and I'm afraid I want him some time but but anyway that's the point. That's who we are. Now listen, Jesus is looking for people who are willing to go over the fence of their personal independence. Jesus is looking for people who are willing to crown him as the king of their life.
What is that mean to crown Jesus is the king of your life. It means that you and I seek to live every single area of our lives in obedience to the word of God in obedience to what God tells us in the Bible, not in obedience to what we feel like doing. We give up that personal independence and we submit ourselves to the kingship of Jesus Christ over our life and our behavior that is applies to every area of our life to our sex lives. Our dating habits are attitudes are language it applies to our thought life in our business ethics and what we watch on television the movies we order in hotel room. It applies to the way we treat our spouses in the way we treat our children applies the way we talk about other people in the way we spend our money and when we forgive people from our heart that we may not always get it right. But people who are under the kingship of Christ are always trying to get it right, to the best of their ability. This is a huge fence that people get caught up on the decision that God is number one in our life the decision and how he tells us to live in the Bible is the authority for our life, not the way we feel and not what we want to do and if you're here today in your follower of Christ. This is the fence God wants you going over the fence of your personal independence and so let's summarize what we learned today what we've learned that in this age, Jesus said he is not the Prince of peace. We learned that in this age, Jesus said, following him is often going to bring a sword into our lives, not peace, it's often going to bring conflict. It's often going to bring opposition and rejection and hostility into our life and we learned that in this age, there's a cost of following Jesus Christ and the Jesus is looking for people who love him enough that they're willing to go over the fences and pay that cost of the fences that we talked about fence number one is the fence of family time loving Jesus more than we love our family if it comes to that Jesus is looking.
Second of all, for people to go over the fence of creature comfort. People who love Jesus more than they love stuff, and third defense of our personal independence. Jesus is looking for people who love him more than they love doing what they feel like doing and I'm here today to challenge you to be this kind of person I'm here today to challenge you to be a person of conviction, and a person of courage and a person of commitment.
I'm here to challenge you to die today to come out of the murky Shadowlands of Turkey entity to go over these three fences once and for all in your life and become a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
I call on you to be this kind of person because friends these are the kind of people. God can use these are the kind of people that God can make a difference in the world with he can do it with people who live in the Shadowlands of Turkey entity, but he can use it with disciples, we can use them. So my challenge for today is come out of the shadows of Turkey entity and live in the light live in the light as an owner saying follower of Christ. If you're hung up on one of these three fences and I'm here call on you today to go over it today and say Lord I'm over I'm staying over because I'm in a put you first in my life is pretty put our heads out of our eyes closed. If you need a moment to talk to God that one of these three fences or something else wanted to take it and you talk to him and asked for his help.
Right now were Jesus were reminded in John chapter 6 were Jesus. That's very hard thing and demanding thing. The Bible tells us many people who followed him went away and followed him no longer the Bible says. Then he turned to the disciples, Peter, James, John, and said will you leave me also and Peter said Lord, where shall we go. You are the one who has the words of eternal life or Jesus remind us today that many times you have hard things to say to us things that are demanding, and yet you expect us as your disciples to stay with Peter said Lord. Where else would we dare go were yours. I pray today that that would be our response. We would hear what you said and that we would rise to the challenge and say yes Lord, we will pay the cost like Rabbi Cohen.
We will pay the cost because you were first in our life and we love you more than our family. We love you more stuff.
We love you more than we even love getting her own way, or challenge us to be those kind of people for folks who told you today that they're going over fence that they've been hung up on honor that and help them God use this in this town to make a difference for Christ because part of the fellowship of the unashamed and we pray these things in Jesus name God's people said thanks for being here today