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April 27, 2021 9:00 am
Today on Summit life with Jenny Greer to be open. We have to be have open hearts of the Holy Spirit.
We are to be committed to God's word. We are to be filled with humility. We gotta be open to other believers, especially other believers who were going to be not like us were going to see blind spots and things we don't see number for the counterfeits. I'm your host Molly minutes series called come back to me looking at part of the Bible that most of the court. Super familiar with the minor prophets today were talking about a prophet named Amos is an ordinary guy who was given an uncomfortable time to call Israel on their stand. No one likes being the bearer of bad news but let's be honest, hearing bad news is even worse especially bad news is our own fault, is it something we can just ignore. Gotta get out in the open.
That's what Amos doesn't face teaching pastor Jenny titled this message unpopular. Chapter 1 tells us during a national holiday celebration. Amos stood up in the center of one of Israel's most sacred cities. The city called Bethel and there he started proclaiming the Lord's judgment on six around the nation's Damascus felicity tire Moab countries like that nations that were all competitors with an enemies to Israel. Now that part of his sermon was undoubtedly well received because you know that one of the fastest ways to build a friendship with somebody is to get together a complaint against the same people but then in chapter 2 he starts talking about the charge against Israel. And here's the kind of things that he says up to verse six they sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals. In other words, they exploit the poor things were so bad that poor people were going into debt just by parachutes.
He continues, he said they trampled the head of the poor into the dust of the earth.
Later in the book is to describe how the rich manipulated the court system to benefit themselves in ways that the poor could simply not do verse seven again and they turn aside the way of the afflicted means they were just apathetic toward those around them who were suffering as long as it didn't affect them.
They live lives of these in comfort and luxury in the face of great suffering and important thing to notice here is that God sees this as a breach of justice.
Maybe the worst part of all this is God's as yet it was I did it was I who destroyed the Amorites before you it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. When I let you 40 years in the wilderness to possess the land of the MRI. In other words, God says, I was the one who gave you this land by grace.
I was the one who fought your battles. I rescued you when you were in slavery and the way you responded that is now by exporting others and by twisting the system in your favor by porting what I gave you the goes on. He says he says and I raised up some of your sons for profits which you commanded the prophet, saying, you shall not prophesy most infuriating to God in all of this, Amos said, is that they did all this while remaining fervent in their religious devotion to bridge the bridge between Amos as they, in our day is not hard when the make right can stand up here all day long talk about moral corruption in Hollywood by the corruption and hypocrisy of groups like Planned Parenthood, the evils of Islamic terrorism for the wickedness of religious persecution in places like Russia or China or North Korea.
And I can talk about how bad all those things are and how surely God is displeased in the judgment of God is coming on Thursday and were all like a preacher preacher just like Amos is audience. So what happens when the spotlight been turns on us.
The way the Amos did with Israel and phalluses go back through it.
How many of Israel's sins. Do we also see replicated in the church.
Don't we live in a country where justice has often been perverted in favor the rich were too often we have seen underprivileged or minorities oppressed even at times treated like they were subhuman in a country where the rich can still work the justice system. The benefit themselves or minorities have historically been treated differently before judges or in schools and there is plenty of evidence that it continues to happen.
No, not everywhere all the time, but certainly in enough places that it should bother us and maybe were not personally guilty of it ourselves. But do we show empathy for those to whom it is happening and respond like we would respond if it were happening to one of our kids. Usually there is nothing immoral about being in a position of privilege, but justice demands that we use that position of privilege to help empower those who don't currently share it to make sure that they get treated equally under the law, and that the doors of opportunity stays open. The damage they do to us.
We love talking about the sins of others, but would not Amos probably say many of the same things about us that he was saying about Israel I know. Listen, I know I noted talking about our sins is not of many popular but here is what we have to do it. God makes clear to Amos. If you want my presence, you will take sin seriously and those who don't take sin seriously. Don't take me seriously. People who treat sin lightly. Don't take God seriously in churches that tolerates and alienate Christ.
That's the charge.
He gives against Israel will sadly Amos's voice is not the only one heard that day was another preacher there was an Messiah. The name is I the priest of Bethel is easy to get a pretty good position he sent to Jeroboam, king of Israel, St. Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel.
The land is not able to bear his words this other preacher Messiah also claiming to speak for God, rose up to oppose Amos.
He told the king that Amos was a radical in a troublemaker, given its Jeroboam to banish Amos couple things I want to see therefrom from adverse person.
Is this there will always be pseudo-preachers or bloggers ready to fill our generation whatever they want to hear Ellison I'm not a perfect preacher and I got a lot of blind spots in my own life and I need you to pray for clarity encourage for me. By the way, this is why I am committed to just teaching through the Bible, a style that they usually call expository were you just can't work your way to the Bible and the Bible bring up the various subjects that's opposed to being topical, which is where I come up with what I think you need to hear the bond Bible verses to support it. The reason I don't usually go the topical route is that if I do that how end up only giving creative series that just affirm us most of the time understatement here all the time. Talk about how you can be more than a conqueror and how God wants you to soar above all your problems and everybody would love that, in the church we get bigger and we would be super popular but we let God's word. Guide us to hear not only will want to hear or to hear what we need to hear and I need you to pray for me to God just be courage in this to faithfully preach about the popular parts and the unpopular both the company and the offensive to give you the words that fill you with hope, but also the ones that fill you with anger words that affirm not only the better angels of our culture but also confront our demons because let me tell you something missing something in my heart and my heart. I want to be popular.
I want to be popular. I like to be like and so daily.
I feel the pressure to conform to culture so that I and our church will be more popular. I want us to be the church that everybody loves to come to but I know that that will only grieve and drive out the presence of Jesus. I don't want to lose the presence of Jesus. So if you don't status to soften your stance on this issue and cannot quit preaching about this sexual thing been religious people and often say I hate that. I genuinely hate that.
But I would rather lose them.
100 times over them lose the presence of Jesus I need you to pray for me. Major pray for me that God will give me courage to confront our sins popular sense to stand against culture, not just the sins of others saying they want to see members there. Maybe even more important. Those preachers closest to the centers of power are most likely to ignore injustice and defend the status quo.
Let me give you a very sad and very uncomfortable fact of history in the days of slavery and segregation.
Many conservative reformed Christians who believe like us, were complicit with the status quo. The first of the criers of racism and slavery were the Quakers in the Anabaptist were marginalized groups on the fringe far from cultural and political power centers of the day, majority Christian culture. Many good people were mostly silent on at least the first. Now thank God. The reason the reforms actually work was because the church eventually repented they realized how in inconsistently things were with what they believe and I got involved.
Christians have always fueled and driven these reforms the denomination that we do a lot of our mission work through the Southern Baptist convention has been one of the dominant religious groups in the South forever hundred and 50 years and its initial leaders were complicit with even spoke up in defense of slavery and then segregation in the South. Why, why it was another fundamental belief structure was bad. No, unquestionably, our belief system is probably the best one that is equipped to undo racism because we believe them boys always believe this that that there's one race of man human race is one problem that affects everybody at sin. There's one solution.
The blood of Jesus Christ is one of the resurrection from the dead is one father and Lord over all. There is one thing were all looking for the return of Jesus answered that Crete itself has been the fuel of racial reform throughout history you say was it that it was really difficult to resist cultural pressures of the day and so culture conform them more than than the Bible bid sure that's part of it. Culture has an enormously shaping influence on us and it still has that on us today, but I don't think that's a full explanation the full explanation you see here with an Messiah on those preachers who are closest to the centers of power are most likely to ignore injustice and defend the status quote that is why it happens. I look back at some of our theological heroes, guys like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, many of them did not only not speak out. They went along with slavery in their days in the work so I have one open and you be reading the most beautiful passage about the fatherhood of God about the universality of sin, about about about about our adoption in Jesus Christ and you know that right outside their window right outside George Whitfield's window is a slave that he was blind to wasn't that they were really bad people that they were just blatant hypocrites. No, they just didn't think about it because it didn't affect them. They were in the place of privilege and power and so they just ignored it. They were fallible men and women as are we sometimes wonder if out of glib identified up in the same way. I probably been worse is all the more I get to know myself the less impressed with me that I am. I'm not some bastion of courageous virtue. I tend to be blind to things that don't affect neither say we gotta be open. We have to be have open hearts of the Holy Spirit. We are to be committed to God's word. We are to be filled with humility. We gotta be open to other believers, especially other believers who were going to not be not like us were going to see blind spots and things that we don't say no go for the counterfeits. Israel turns now to a couple of other lines of defense to excuse themselves and Amos confronts in both the first when the first women chapter 3 verse two where God's chosen people were forgiven were chosen were God's favorites God says to them in verse 273 yet mixer sentiment worse. See you not only knew me as lawgiver you knew me as father and Redeemer know much is given much is sure would be required second excuse and brought up our religious zeal makes up for our moral shortcomings were in church all the time with this one in their history as roles going to church all dominant, but on their FISA God says of them set up a five or 21 I hate.
I despise your feast. I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. In other words, you can excuse yourself the grace well thank God that God accepts by grace are we marked iniquities, who could stand you know were not just birthday were not perfect were just forgiven.
God says if you really had been forgiven you be more passionate about these things, not less passionate forgiveness doesn't become a way that you avoid these things becomes a way that you drive deeper into these things of failure to show concern for the poor shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel.
When you are blind to the needs of the port raises the question of whether or not you actually ever believe the gospel because you are unaware of your own compressing desperate need for God's grace in your life. That's what Jesus would say. Matthew 25 he says or group of people who think are Christians on the last day they show up in heaven there ready to be received in the glory of Jesus. I only know you are know what you mean we always want the church. We were like your biggest fans and he was like yeah but when I was hungry you didn't feed me when I was making it a gloaming.
I was in prison he didn't come visit me people.
I will follow way to manage use when were you in prison when were you hungry when were you thirsty, we would certainly have done all these things for you.
If we do know what he say as much as you didn't do it to the least of my brother and you didn't do it on the me know what you saying that he's not saying that the way you are in a relationship with Jesus is the buy start doing those things. What he saying is if you really knew me.
If you would really experienced by grace you would instinctively do those things that Karl Marx very famously said that Christianity is the opiate of the people that actually is the smelling salts of the people because when you really understand grace you become awoken. You wake up to the compassion and generosity and injustice that is happening. Your experience of grace.
Even if you are insanely religiously busy. If you are not involved in generosity and compassion than it is all fake. I don't care how much you come to church. I wonder sometimes what God would say to us hi HRS and IH are prayer meetings. I hate your songs IH concerts he would say that if it is not accompanied by compassion and generosity and a commitment to justice membership six verse one woe to those woe to those who are these in Zion signed. This means the kingdom of God at ease plan through life. So many around them are suffering from an old sermon this week by Charles Spurgeon on this tax that he identified three groups who are at ease in Zion. The first group, he said, is the apathetic I just don't care.
It's not that they're cruel or vicious people. This only think that much about things I don't affect them since I don't get the self-indulgent.
These are people that maybe they care. They care but they love creature comforts too much to actually sacrifice these. And thirdly, other procrastinators. These are those are people who know they're supposed to do something but never actually do anything about it.
They care enough to repost things on Facebook and like the heck out of stop and retweet you on the slack the best around here there kind of an activist, but there's a slack is all they do is retweet repost woe to you for a disease in Zion Yellowstone for a minute about the amount of people around the world. It never even heard the name of Jesus is that not a position of privilege that all of us occupy.
You know the gospel that is saved you from sin and death and hell and there are people all around the world food never even around it.
Don't you owe it to them.
How could that not be unjust. It is not fair to experience the kind of grace you have experience in the gospel and keep it to yourself every saved person decided heaven owes the gospel to every unsaved person decided help and I wonder if God will look at us and say what all you who are at ease and sign with so many parish world reported all this leave Israel what was gonna happen to generate verse one. This will the Lord God showed me boat a basket of summer fruit.
The Lord said to me, the end is come upon my people Israel never again pass by them. Summer fruit means write overripe fruit now overripe fruit is really good me outside truly brought a great color pick it up. You'll notice a little mushy that you bite into it and regret the day that you were born. Write overripe fruit. He said that's for sure. Like talking Israel, the greater the outside but you're right, for judgment as is all rotten on the inside by the way some of you have had that experience with churches, haven't you become a new church in a much greater base dress nice by said hello Brother how are you. God bless you and musics.
Grading relics are spiritual and you get into it and realize that there's all kinds of thing corruption and then things that are inside of their chapter 5 verse 18 woe to you. He says Israel. Woe to you who desire the day the Lord why would you desire the day of the Lord is darkness, not light. The man was fleeing from a lion, a baronet in that's a bad day. I'm sure they talked in their day about how much God how much they yearn for God to come back on the day the Lord's will be awesome.
Got to go back you deliver us could crush all of our enemies and it can be fantastic. We really long for the day of the Lord and Amy said no you do not he refers to the day the Lord five times in the book of Amos, and it's always a day of judgment and Amos says judgment always begins with the house of God. Journal a lot of Christians like us today.
Jesus, when you cannot rapture the church given the awesome rhythm meet you and you and across all of our enemies in your general rule on earth with you and I want you to come back so much. I'm not sure you want that because for those walking and send Jesus coming will be like darkness, not light like a runaway from the lien of a bad financial situation or the line of bad politics and into the bearer of Jesus's judgment Missy in every place lies the good news like a surgeon last week. The New Testament apostles said that the day of the Lord the day of the Lord of the minor prophets talked about that day began on the day that Jesus was crucified. Been there, the judgment that Israel was afraid of had a right to be afraid of and that they deserved and that you and I deserve was poured out on Jesus. That's for the day of the Lord began and because of that were willing, if we are willing to genuinely seek God we can find safety when my favorite old hymns and talked about this some rock of ages receiving the grown-up rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in the was written by got in Augusta. Stop letting in the 17th century or 18th century was an Englishman is run into a field because the storm come out of nowhere and those hail and lightning that he feared for his life is run across this field.
He saw like a hill, rocky outcropping and got me a grandmother to shield myself from some of the storm when he got there.
It seemed that that some boulder had fallen on top of this other rocketed to split this rock and it created a subtle crevice just big enough for him to shove his body through and be shielded from all the hail the lightning that was there just was standing there all the hail was pounding the rocks around him. He was totally shielded from this rock been split open and he thought this is what the gospel teaches me about Jesus Jesus Jesus was split open so that I can hide in him. He took the judgment of the day of the Lord so that I can have mercy inside and think about this and look down the ground. Those little ace of spades on the ground to compass ace of spades and he jotted down the words. The first verse of rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in the in the leases. That is the answer. That's the gospel. The gospel is that the day of the Lord has been absorbed so that what remains of the day of the Lord for us. His blessing and goodness we can have it, but you have to seek God with real repentance, which is why Amos concludes a sermon this way. Seek good and not evil but you may live, so the Lord God of hosts will be with you as you have said to me when you want to stay away wants to be with you.
He wants to multiply blessing in you wants to pour out his power through you, but in order for that to happen you that I hate evil and love.
Good to establish justice in the gate you establish justice, places were affects you and where do you take away from me. The noise of your soul. The melody of your hearts. I will not listen to the riff of your letter guitars.
He would say is it only been impressed. Let justice roll down my waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream dealer humble ourselves before God knew the Holy Spirit working in our hearts.
Let's like and uncover seeing things in a new direction of repentance. If you'd like to listen again or if there's a friend you think would want to hear this message you can find online.
JD Greer.com case study as part of a series titled come back to me as were diving into a few different books from the minor prophets of the minor prophets as books of judgment that they can also paint a picture of a God whose immense laughing never stops pursuing the very people who broke his heart.
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That's Wednesday on Senate life changing