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November 9, 2020 9:00 am
God will give me justice. Well, you know, we hear a lot of talk in our world today about justice to know about you, when I look around I don't see a whole lot of justice being worked out in our world today at WorldCom and Enron and Tyco it ImClone we see executives walk away with huge fortunes, leaving faithful employees and trusting investors holding the bag and of course on a much smaller scale. You and I see people every day who seemingly get away with everything from cheating in school to line the customers to padding their expense accounts, and it's really easy you know, if we're not careful, for a standoff like young Dante is here in our clip from the counter Montecristo we begin confident that God sees everything that God is going to give justice to justice to everyone and before long we begin losing all hope and we begin wondering if there even is a God that's watching everything and seeing everything in this what we want to talk about today we want to talk about justice doesn't exist. Will we ever see. How does God figure in the wall of this and the reason were to talk about. This is because this is the theme with which the apostle Paul ends his sermon on Mars Hill.
You'll be we been working through that sermon that Paul preached in Athens to the intellectual elite, not just of Athens but of the Holy Roman Empire. So far we seen them talk about the creation of the universe we seen them talk about the creation of life on this planet, including human life that I don't have time to review all that we seen but you get tapes and CDs of those and I think your but today we want to move on and finish his sermon and will go to find that is, he finishes this is the element that Paul talks about the element of justice. We want to see what he says.
And then of course we want.
Always answer the question. Well, what difference does that make to you and to me. So let's do that together first 29 acts chapter 17. If you bought a Bible open with me to ask chapter 17 and were going to be continuing were in the middle of the sermon, and here's what Paul says in verse 29 therefore he says, since we are God's offspring. We should not think that God is like gold or silver or stone images, idols made by man's design and skill in the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. If you remember we could. We told you that the city of Athens was overflowing with idols and all kinds of religious activity. In fact, the Roman poet Livvy. If you remember said there are more gods in Athens than there are people know what Paul tells these people who are consumed with religious activity is that God is not at all impressed, but that what God wants from them is for them to repent and repent literally simply means to change your mind, God wanted these people in Athens to change their mind. You say to change their mind about what want to change their mind about how they were planning to get eternal life about how they were planning to get right with God to stop relying on their own human effort in their own religious activity and instead change their mind and begin relying on the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to pay for their wrongdoings, not friends. The same is true today.
There's all kinds of religious activity in our world, much of it is sincere religious activity. God is no more impressed with that that he was the sincere religious activity in Athens 1900 years ago. He says to the people of our world today. The same thing he said to these people and I happen I want you to change your mind, change your mind about how you are planning to get to heaven and get eternal life is not going to be as a result of human works.
It's not going to work as a result of religious activity. Instead we need and a T for you to rely on the blood of Jesus shed on the cross that you're here today and you've never done that. What is God want from you. You want to change my want to stop relying on yourself and your own activity in reliance on what Jesus did for you to think about that. But Paul goes on from there and says this he says for God has a Saturday when he will judge the world with justice by the man that he is appointed. Meaning, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, that Jesus himself spoke of this of this delegation of authority for the judging of the human race. The God given him.
He says John chapter 5 verse 22 God the father judges no one, but he is entrusted all judgment to me, the son Jesus said in John 527 God the father has given me the authority to execute George the justice and judgment. Peter said, ask chapter 10 God ordered us to tell people that Jesus is the one whom he is appointed as judge of the living and the dead, and Paul goes on in verse 31 here on Mars Hill and says in God has given proof of this to all men, proof that Jesus really is who we said proof that Jesus really is going to judge the human race.
And where did that come from well it came. By raising this man Jesus from the dead.
Now as soon as these intellectuals heard about the resurrection. The sermon was over. I mean, you get the clear impression. Paul had more to say here and get the second, that the said that the whole meeting dissolves in the chaos at the mention of the resurrection, and you know a lot of commentators have gotten so caught up in the meeting falling apart in chaos that they they skip over the full impact of what Paul just said in this verse let's go back and look at it.
Paul says two very important things. Number one he tells us that God has chosen a very special person to judge the human race were not going to be judged by some computer were knocking to be judged by the matrix, but there's a person who knows all things sees all things understands all things is going to do this. Judging nothing is going to get by him. No one is going to trick him. He's going to be the ultimate judge Judy if you understand what I'm saying this going to judge the human race and number two that this person the Lord Jesus will judge the world with justice. Hey, there is were with justice friends there may not be much true justice in our world today, but Paul tells us here that there is coming a day when there will be true justice when everything people have ever done every word, every action, every deed, every motive is going to be held off and charged with true justice. And, you know, the presiding judge, the Lord Jesus said that himself. Listen to what he said in chapter 12 he said, for there is nothing covered up. That will not be revealed.
There is nothing hidden that will not be known. What people it said in the dark shall be heard in the light and what Dave whispered in secret shall be shouted from the rooftops. You know all those people out there that you know that are convinced they got away with it.
You know all those people out there were sure they pull the wool over everybody's eyes and is never going to be any accounting at all for what they did.
You know all those people will guess what friends they're wrong. Nobody get away with anything. Jesus said the things they whispered in the little tiny keys secret corners of your office building. Everybody's going to hear about it.
It's going to get shouted from the rooftops. All the little plans and innuendos and schemes that they worked out in the dark.
Jesus said don't worry about it it's all coming in the light, nobody is getting away with anything you save a lot.
How can I be sure this is really going to happen on the what assurance do I have, there's going to be this kind of justice carried out well that the answer friend is found in the character of God who God is. The Bible tells us that God is both a righteous and a just God we find both of these elements together and Daniels prayer Daniel chapter 4 verse 37 he says the Lord because is righteous and all his ways are just now what is it mean first of all to say that God is righteous. Well, it means that God always draws what is ethically right what is morally pure and what is utterly virtuous that God can do no other thing God is not capable of doing anything else.
He is a righteous being, but beyond that the Bible says God is just and what that means is, not only does God personally do what is righteous himself, but God also cares deeply about his creation operating righteously because God is jaws. It means that God cares about how treat people treat people because God is jaws.
That means that God cares about the wrongs that people have done to you and that they had done to me because God is job that means God is committed to repaying every act of injustice with appropriate payback that when the time is right.
When it's the perfect time in the wisdom of God in the perfect way. God knows how absolute justice is going to be administered to every human being because God is a just God he's going to see to it he has to see to it he said a lot just out of curiosity where where in the Bible does God make that promise me if I wanted to see a promise that says that in the Bible where is well. I'm happy to tell you that you find it in Galatians chapter 6 among all the places where God says there he says do not be deceived.
Nobody makes a fool out of God for whatever a person shows that is exactly what they will rate God tells us here that he is set off an inescapable law when it comes to human behavior and human conduct and hears that law.
Whatever a person so that is exactly what they're going to read you know when my children were younger, my wife, Brenda, what bugged me and bugged me and bugged me about planting a garden going up in the front out the front yard and digging up a piece of an implant regard. I can say what I don't understand what is the big deal, but it really want to do it about planting a garden and she said well I want boys to know where tomatoes come from well friends, you know, I grew up Jewish and I knew exactly where tomatoes come from.
They come from the supermarket I know where they came from seaweed, you know, we can get anywhere near garden unless it was for catered party your and what I'm saying and I'm like a garden. I don't know anything about planting a garden she so I'm going to teach you and so we we learn together how to plant a garden and I learned this amazing long as it was a profound law. I learned of whatever you so that's exactly what comes up out of the ground. If you put green beans in the ground friends you don't get broccoli you don't get it plant you don't get Brussels sprouts my God, you get green beans if you plant rutabagas you get rutabagas. I mean, that is a law of nature along Gardens.
But you know what this is not just God's love Gardens this is God's law of human behavior as well.
God is promising us. Whatever a person sows, that is exactly would either go to read and God says here, nobody is ever going to beat this law, because even though it looks like some people may have beaten it even though it seems like some people have gotten off scot-free.
Friends of people were able to beat this law of God.
They make a full letter God and what God say in this verse. Nobody makes a fool out of God.
They never going to happen. Nobody ever beaten this small select summarize what we learned so far, we've learned that because God is righteous, he cares about his world operating righteously, we've learned that because God is jaws he's committed to repaying every act of unrighteousness, and finally because God is God. Nobody is going to escape his law of sowing and reaping what goes around is going to come around the chickens are going to come home to roost. As the apostle Paul quoted God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice, God is going to see to it personally and what Dante is carved on the wall. God will give me justice. That is true, that is true.
Now that's as far as we want to go in our passage because we have a very important question we want to ask here and everybody knows our question, don't we yeah are we ready. Okay good I read, here we go.
123 right is a lawn, so one is very interesting what you said but I've never been in prison and plans on living plants on the what differences make to me.
Well, I think it makes a lot of difference to your friends because I believe every one of us here can relate to this idea of justice, every one of us here has had people in our lives will put us betrayed us, mistreated us abuse was victimized by some kind of unrighteous action. Some of us have been deserted by her father or abused by a parent. Some of us have been betrayed by a relative or been sold out by a coworker without a member of the opposite sex.
Use off. We been stabbed in the back by a friend.
We would been cheated in a business relationship. My business partner.
That stuff happens and you know what it does. There's a part of us that cries out the things to be made right that there be justice worked out in the situation and sometimes were tempted to actually go out in our own human energy and try to help justice come about. Now does God have anything to say to us about how he wants to hand he wants us to handle those feelings in light of his promise that he is going to judge the world. Injustice that he is going to make things right. As followers of Christ, should we react any different to these feelings and the rest of the world.
The answer is yes and that's what I want to talk about before I do, let's make sure that we understand exactly what I'm saying friends I am not talking here about criminal activity. I'm not talking about people doing things that our legal system provides a punishment for pay. I think if somebody does something criminal that ought to be prosecuted were not talking about that were talking about a whole host of other things that people do the people where you can sue them with is no law against it. We can take take on the court put them in jail. But the stuff they do is still wrong. It still unrighteous it still slimy. It will nasty it still hurts all those laconic things were talking about online now what we do as followers of Christ in those situations because we've all had these things happen to well Romans chapter 12 gives us the answer.
Here's what it says for 17 do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Verse 19 to not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's justice, for it is written in the Bible it is mine to avenge. I will repay, says the Lord friends as followers of Jesus Christ when we're mistreated, God asks us to display a completely different response in the rest of our society does God says Saucier take the high road. Verse 21. Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. God says when these things happen to you. Don't lower yourself, keeping yourself, don't go down in mud wrestled with these people in a human attempt to make the score right to even the score.
Don't do that. Is that why not well because the Bible says you don't have to. You don't have to what it verse 19 say God says I will repay, I'll take care of that.
I've seen what happened to you. I know what they did to you, just God you can count on me. I'm going to avenge every wrong.
I'm going to pay back every misdeed. I'm going to settle every accountant needs to be settled and I'm going to do a much better job than you'll ever do. Just trust me and stay out of to put it simply, as followers of Christ. God is asking us to take all the hurt that's ever been done to us in all the earth is still going to ever be done to us and to turn it over to him emotionally to give it to him emotionally to let it go emotionally to believe God when he tells us he seen what happened to believe God when he tells us he's going to make sure everybody get what they deserve, and friends.
It may not happen as fast as you wanted to happen and it may not happen in the way exactly that you wanted to happen, but we have God's personal assurance that it will happen in God's time and in God's way.
So rather than letting ourselves become consumed with anger and bitterness and malice and revenge are God says hey just entrusted to me.
Okay, take the high road and just give it to me I'll take care they know it's interesting to me, this is exactly what the Lord Jesus did when he was hereunder. Listen to what first Peter says and this is when Jesus of course was hanging on the cross. First Peter 223 it says and I quote when they hold insulted him.
He didn't retaliate when he suffered, he ordered no threats. I mean, Jesus never said hey dad when I get off this cross. I'm telling you, you better be out of town when I get off this cross. Jesus never said that and you know why.
But rather, he kept on entrusting all these things people were doing him to God because he knew the God judges justly, we can count on God to deal with this. He didn't have to deal with it and friends that's all God's asking you and me to do is to do the exact same thing that the Lord Jesus himself came to McLean Bible church almost 23 years ago now.
I had a an elderly man a godly man was and cannot take out the lots and lots of short. We went out to lunch. We were sitting there eating and he said to me, long, he said you know as a pastor you're going to be mistreated, even to be abused to be hurt.
Is that just comes with the territory law is if I'm going to give you the most important and valuable piece of advice anybody could ever give a pastor I thought while while I was a young pastor out of the pastor before my life. I'm sitting on the front of my booth in Lord Rogers right ready for the most profound thing to come my way and so he says here it is. And I'm ready any salon be a tunnel not a wall like one tunnel not only said I said that your profound piece of advice he said you mean. Let me explain it to you. You know what wall is like don't you when stuff hits the wall. What happens. Like there, it just drops down right at the foot of that wall lays right at the photo. That wall any salon when it comes to the hurt and the pain and the wrong things people are going to do to you don't feel well because that's up if you will lay at the footer you it will rock it will putrefy.
It will stink and it will ruin your life and probably run you out of the ministry. You can't be a wall. He said you gotta be a tunnel is also tunnel to a tunnel. Let's talk.
Go right on through a tunnel softly right on the God sit there at the base of the tunnel and rotten putrefy and stink, it just keeps on going. The salon I want to set you free from the tyranny of what people do to you. You gotta be free of that in the way to be free, as you gotta be a tunnel and not wall not tell you something. 23 years has taught me. He gave me the most profound piece of advice anybody could ever given me all that stuff you said was going to happen to me has an worse and you only reason automated friends is because I've learned by the grace of God to be a total not wall I let that stuff just go right on through and say Lord Jesus. You see what's going on here. I'm not going down in dealing with this. I'm not going to try to even the score. I'm not going to mud wrestled with anybody. God, with your help on this will take the high road.
You deal with this.
You see what's happening here when you're ready, you deal with this. That's a lot less to 23 years friends you know what God wants you to do the same thing.
God wants to free you from the tyranny of what people do you of how people treat you and the only way to be free is to be a total not wall walls on three walls of prisoners. What people do to stop instincts and putrefy there and it ruins or their spiritual life and it turns into emotional gangrene.
God is, just let that stuff come on to me.
I don't need your help.
God says I don't want your help in settling these accounts, God says, and frankly I'm handle all by myself just fine.
You're just going to mess it up.
Stay out of it all deal with butyl friends with a lot of us here today wall is a lot of us here today that stuff people have done also still sitting at the photo that wall and it's stinking up store. I'm here to tell you that you're still a prisoner what people did to you. God wants to set you free, and he will if today you will say God from now on, and with all that junk I would be a tunnel it's coming to you. You deal with this stuff.
I'm not going to touch it because I don't have to.
You're just God and you see to a justice system was pretty good showing. If you're here today in and you been a wall in some area of your life with hurt that's been done to you. I want to give you just a moment to do some business with God today to say to God. God on those areas and really from now on I want to be a tunnel you take this on Michael deal with so you need to do that wanted to take a moment right now and you talk to God or Jesus you know that we're wired as human beings to be walls where wired in such a way that when people do hurtful things to us as a part of us that wants to hold onto it you wanted ruminate on it rolled over and over till it rocks and putrefy in our spirit, God my prayers that you would teach us today about a different way of living the way of freedom to become tunnels not walls because we have a just God who said I will repay, give it to me I'll take care God free us today from the tyranny of what people do to us teachers to be tunnels and not walls of the true joy of the spirit can be evidenced in our life change the way we live because we were here today and I pray this in Jesus name, amen