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Either a Sheep or a Goat, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
April 27, 2022 9:00 am

Either a Sheep or a Goat, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 27, 2022 9:00 am

Are you a sheep or a goat? Are you a lukewarm person? We all struggle with seasons where we are lukewarm, where we are striving to maintain a commitment to Christ but we falter.

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Chris Hughes
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Pastor Rick Gaston

Today on Senate life with Jeannie Greer Jesus life was not defined by what he avoided Jesus life was to find out what unit into Jesus merely avoided sin. None of us will be safe or say because Jesus not only avoided sin be entered into suffering you're a follower of his your life is not to be defined by just avoiding sin. It's also going to be defined by entering into suffering, just like my. As always, I'm your host Molly bit of edge program.

Pastor Jenny asked that a couple of very blunt question you a sheep or goats. Are you a lukewarm person we all struggle with seasons where we are lukewarm you know where we are striving to maintain a commitment to Christ, we falter in their but does that make me lukewarm likely Pastor Jenny doesn't just ask these questions, but he shows us how to find answers that can help propel us toward a life on fire for the Lord. As always, if you miss any of our programs or if you're in search of our featured monthly resource you can find it out or by calling us at 866-335-5220 right now let's rejoin Pastor Janie in this message that he entitled either a sheep workout genuine saving faith is a passionate commitment to the people of God and a passionate commitment to the mission of God should are two ways for us to tell what you believe one is what Jamal says the others what your life says in one of those is way more reliable than the other.

What if what your life says is different than what Jamal says about what you believe God accept the testimony of your life every single time.

The question is not what is your mouse so you believe about Jesus. The question is what does your calendar and your bank account in your daily habits. What is that say about your belief in the Lordship of Jesus and the generosity of Christ which leads me to number two.

This question presents this question. Is it possible to be a lukewarm Christian.

Is it possible to be a lukewarm Christian doctrine not familiar with church lingo lukewarm Christian. That's a concept come from Revelation chapter 3 where Jesus is talking about a church where he says listen, you're neither hot nor cold your lukewarm and I just spit you out of my mouth is like in hot coffee is awesome cold brew in the afternoon is awesome room temperature coffee as well spit out your mouth Jesus saying something similar is like a ritual that I wish recall with this, lukewarm, happy and out sort of committed, not committed it just makes me know. Lukewarm Christians are Christians who sit in churches believe the message but are not really sold out to Jesus and not meaningfully engaged in his mission is these kinds of Christians that Jesus is ascribing in these three parables. The maidens consider themselves friends of the bridegroom, but they don't live in a way anticipating his return all their thinking about is how to be comfortable for the evening, not how to be faithful in their assignment to the bridegroom.

The wicked servant considers himself in the employ of the master but he is never offered his talents without reserve for use in the kingdom. Lukewarm Christians are Christians who sit in churches and come on a regular basis, but are just not sold out to the mission. There is no middle ground.

There is no third category sheep or goats, shouts, or have you combine right there sheep or goat. You either you committed to the mission using your resources for the kingdom.

All labor, Jesus, or you're not either a sheep or a goat that puts lukewarm Christians in a very precarious position. I told you before the one of the things in these parables is always grip me is how when the master in the second barrel comes back toward the first two servants for their investment in the kingdom. The third servant who never buried his talent is buried as money in data back to the master master refers to him as wicked in the question I asked was what wicked thing he done right was no immorality in her even take the money and bought him prostitutes or gambling rebels a letter anything like that if you gave it back. He gave back 100% of everything that be given them in Jesus causing wicked what wicked thing that he got here is my conclusion of the there's more than one way to be wicked in the kingdom of God you can be wicked through an egregious violation of the 10 Commandments you can go out to be immoral and that we classify you as wicked, but you can also be wicked by simply failing to leverage and invest what God is giving you for his kingdom for the purposes for which he gave it to you the first the first breaking the 10 Commandments we would call that becoming wicked by the sins of commission the second one not leveraging your life and using for the kingdom would be becoming wicked by the sin of omission.

We preach a lot here about the first about not breaking the commandments, but what about the latter. Let me ask you, have you ever offered your life, your talents, your time, your talents and your treasure without reservation has a blank check to God for those you who are in high school, middle school, college, have you ever said the God, I'm glad you're trying to be a good Christian pride you're here on the Bible and logic try to be a good person at school but had you ever said God. Every second of my life. From this point on all my talents all my treasures all my time is a blank check to you. You show me where you want to use it now because my life belongs to you. One of things we've learned is for magazine says it you on the average senior adult now lives 20+ years after their retirement question is have you offer this 20 to God is a God. How do you how do you want me to use these next two decades is probably not to be just a coast out into eternity. There's probably something God wants you to do for his kingdom with the answer is that if you offered it to him as a blank check. If we look at your giving all of you.

If we look at your giving would we say that your giving represents somebody who is all in with the mission of God.

Are you a Luke warm Christian Francis Jim's book crazy love is a chapter where he describes the profile of a lukewarm Christian which you can you I think you could see straight from these parables, you could say that everything you got comes from Ms. parables all the people that he describes a regular in their church attendance at all of them are pretty accurate in what they believe about the Bible and the gospel. Here's how he describes him lukewarm people first of all don't really want to be saved from their sin. This will be safe in the penalty of their sin. The difference over Jesus is useful for keeping them out of hell but they're not really interested in loving Jesus and eradicating sin from their heart, since nobody can see Jesus is useful to them as a way of avoiding hell, but he's not beautiful to them as somebody that they worship lukewarm crew.

Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ.

But you love your church will hear the stories of missionaries and little plot people were sacrificing the kingdom, yet they do not do radical things themselves that lukewarm people cannot call radical what Jesus called normal.

What Jesus expects of all of his followers. Lukewarm people say wow. That's crazy radical euro Saul sold out lukewarm people equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they could not be more wrong because Jesus did not call us to sanitation.

He called us to discipleship to be a follower of Jesus that mean that you live a sanitized life. In fact meet you get your hands dirty by bringing healing and salvation. The people just like you did like a friend of mine says in the church today. We tend to disinfect people rather than disciple them. We define holiness by what Christians avoid rather than being like Jesus, holiness, and not what holiness is being like Jesus. Jesus life was not defined what he avoid Jesus life was defined by what unit into head. Jesus merely avoided sin. None of us will be saved were saved because Jesus not only avoided sin be entered into suffering, and if you're a follower of his your life is not to be defined by just avoiding sin. It's also going to be defined by entering into suffering, just like he did what this would lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors or coworkers or their friends. I want to only think it's a good idea. They love it when other people do. But when it actually comes down to the moment when they would share their faith. It's just too awkward to the bottom line is they care more about their comparability, they care more about avoiding awkwardness with their neighbors than they do their eternal eternal soul their neighbor and so they just prefer to sit back and hope somebody else does it, because there lukewarm lukewarm people think about life on earth like these maidens did much more often than eternity in heaven. Lukewarm people love their luxuries and really get to the board.

A truly sacrificial way. They love the concept of giving their love when other people do. But the comes on actually giving in a way that would maybe threaten some of these luxuries that they have worked so hard to obtain medical and there.

Lukewarm people don't live by faith are larger structures of that they never have to you can see that from this parable of the talents right there is always risk that is involved in the kingdom there's always, blank checks, as on what you doing this, but here is if you are not in a place where you feel desperate for the spirit of God.

There is no way that you're on the front lines of the mission when you're on the front lines you filled desperately your need for God's help you one more lukewarm people give God the leftovers bow. Sometimes a really big leftovers for your really wealthy. Sometimes a really impressive and I get you a list of top donors to organizations and churches, but at the end of the date of the leftovers and are not your first and your best. The prophet Malachi talked for example about about the priest you gave God, but they For themselves the best spotless animals and passed on the God, the less desirable animals and they assumed they assumed God was pleased because you know, at least they sacrifice something. Their name was on the donor list yet God describe them and their practice. Malachi 18 as evil, not just inadequate but evil if your giving does not represent your first and your best. It is evil to God told him to tell you to be a jerk about this and try to tell you we offered Lycos box. Keep your lunch money you want to make money in there to make yourself feel better. God deserves your first in your best not going to give your first in your best. God, that one at all, and stop calling it like too many bills or forgetfulness. Write a busy schedule: what is its evil that's what Jesus is talking about here with a lukewarm Christian. Melissa not only to be the wrong idea not. I know that already have some of you. We all struggle all of us, including especially your pastor troublesome seasons were lukewarm and it's difficult to strive to maintain commitments, seasons where we falter. All of us are like that.

But the fundamental question. Here's the fundamental question is this. When you became a Christian, did it include for you a surrender to get engaged in the mission of God.

That's the question I'm asking not asking you falter and you get the seasons were sometimes your this is an is you fall back a little bit I'm saying when you became a Christian, did it include for you a blank check surrender to get engaged in the mission of God or was your Christianity more of a belief thing. I go to church thing I have Jesus save me from hell thing a basic morality and avoid the big sins thing or have you personally gotten engaged in the mission of God and offered your time, your talent and your treasures has a blank check to God.

At whatever age you are. If not, you are not a follower of Jesus sit there and hide behind that well. I just don't know really what I'm called to people use it with me all the time as a way of just excusing not getting the ball and avoiding not.

Here's what I usually ask about Mike.

Okay. Did you hear God call you to watch TV yesterday.

Now she didn't write.

You hear God bless your call. You and your family on a vacation.

Did you come in your family so you know what I been praying about this applet got calls going to vacation point and that is not to say that vacations are exercise room watching TV is wrong, just that were so quick to rationalize her entertainment and other priorities that we are slow to commit to serving God to stop using that as an excuse, write you, but you are like a protocol to try about 10 different things like I call you on one of them. I don't write this off by saying well I can afford it right.

I'm just not that wealthy. Do you realize that if you make average household income $4000 a month 48,000 year. If you make that in your household, you automatically make 100 times more hundred times more than the average person on this planet. I honestly know what's more messed up what one is that we have so much compared to everybody else, or that we still don't think were rich. We give it 100 times more than everybody else and say yeah I'm poor I'm broke. I got nothing.

We are neither of those things we are rich, all of us are filthy rich.

How can we have so much but be doing so relatively little to relieve suffering and still call ourselves flowers and what are you doing with strong challenge from Pastor JD here on Summit life will get back to her teaching in just a moment but first let me tell you about our latest resource created exclusively for arsenic like listeners and a devotional from the parables of Jesus called listener.

As with all our resources is exclusive to arsenic like family want to contact us right away, friend or relative is in need of these messages as well. What greater gift to give away in the timeless truths of God's word to reserve your copy today by calling 863-3552 20 or visit us online. JD Thanks for being with us today. Now let's get back to the final moment of today's message is the sign of genuine saving faith is a passionate commitment to the people of God and the mission of God. There are two ways for us to tell what you believe one is which of mouse says it is what your life says one of those is way more reliable than the other one and if what you mouse as you believe is different than what your life says you believe God accept the testimony of your life. Every single time. The question is what does your life and your checkbook in your calendar and your daily schedule. What does that say about your belief in the Lordship of Christ in your belief in the mercy of the gospel tells after 1/3 question might be the least of these my brothers who we should be serving today will start with the obvious one. The most obvious application of persecuted believers around the world not say we live mostly isolated from this in the United States. Not entirely. We face in our own different ways but in 2017, 3066 Christians were killed specifically because of their faith.

And just as many were abducted a rate for that same reason 793 churches last year were attacked and burned. They say the 2017 was by the numbers the worst year for persecution in Christian history media second category here which of the people he might've been talking about today for believers around the world many believers and places around the world live on basic subsistence there about 500 million Christians, many of whom are children that live on less than two dollars a day which is why we discharge partner with a group called compassion. Compassion is the best ministry that we found.

I'm sure there are others, but it's one of the best. We found that connects you to impoverished children is not a charity like an NGO. We come and drop off a bag of rice and zoom off somewhere else is committed to raising up leaders so that they can raise up the level of their community and holistic way will only work for local leaders that work in local churches and there's not a church in the area about worker C1 planted and then they'll use that church to start a program for children that will help meet their medical needs on education needs and give them spiritual training to come and follow Jesus. My family we have four children that we sponsor one for each of my kids that we respond to the monthly I could write them letters were involved in their lives were taken to mission trips and were planning or will in the third on coming up on that is a way that we're involved in its way that you can be involved about a way for some of you you're actually seven. This could be just to go on a mission trip with us, but when I go mission trip so that you can be vacation a reason. You see exotic places around the world want you to see firsthand what God is doing in some of these places and so let me give you another category here. Neglect neglected believers in our own community is a way we could we could fulfill this we could start with with the ones that James the half-brother of Jesus that widows and orphans, while others older senior citizens were in rest homes who are believers never have somebody come by.

Just tell them that we love you. We want to take care of you when I want you to be lonely foster kids in our community. By the way, I heard the greatest story you know we are church again very committed to the foster system here and we have multiple families that are engaged in having a family that wanted to become a foster family you know to do that you regular training certification audit testing them so they were being interviewed by a medical doctor and they were sitting out the doctor and the doctor said okay so why you will become foster parents in the desert. Well, we believe God rescued us when we were orphans seems appropriate that we would take our time and our talents and our treasures and use that to rescue others doctor looks at inputs on the penances you go to the summer church and the lights of what what yes I said because I can't tell you how many times I've heard that very thing, and are always people that are go to the summer church and say that he did not say something else we can track here in Durham County. The foster care services. We can track the date your church decided to get involved because you made the biggest difference of anything that is happening foster care system are the last thing talking about were talking about you loving people in Jesus name you another category I would mention that one of the ways that we specifically, the majority community can heed Jesus's instructions in Matthew 25 of of loving that the least of these my brothers and sisters is being committed to justice for anybody in our community who is not treated equally under the law or doesn't have access to the same opportunities and privileges away to be part of what it means to love brothers and sisters of Jesus everywhere is that we are committed not just to justice Ross and our kids but were committed to justice for anybody everywhere you have an affect us from you what you what to more categories or quicker refugees and immigrants listen, listen, I understand I understand that our government has some really difficult questions when it comes to the best refugee settlement programs at the right immigration policy.

I get that and I get that there's a lot of complexity in that. And personally I'm praying for our leaders and that and I'm glad their decision on my receipt. I got a different set of questions when it comes to being a pastor and a follower of Jesus.

What that means is that when somebody shows up in my community, regardless of the legality of how they got there.

I know what my responsibility is to love them like Jesus is love me. I can pray for my leaders and we can have even having gauging discussions about what the right best policies are that balance security and fairness in general we can we can talk about all that but I know that is a follower of Jesus. When somebody's in front of me, especially Jesus that if they are claiming to be believers, which many of them are.

I know my responsibility is to love them as I would want to be loved one of my children to be love yet in one final category here met his future brother of Jesus I can help.

Read Matthew 25 to kind of a future lens of Jesus talking about people that it not yet come to believe on him to say when you reached out to them when we reach out to this person would become one of my children. I took that is being done to me. If we believe the gospel. How can we not be actively and sacrificially engages a church in carrying the gospel of the nations not too long ago study showed that listen to this.

The average American congregation spent no more than 7% of its annual budget on anything apart from ministry within its four walls 93% got spent on ministry within the four walls. Only 7% when outside of that 7% less than half never left the United States.

About half that love United States, only one third no talking with 1% ever went to meeting people's physical needs, and other words listen roughly one penny of every dollar of American Christian giving to the local church. Only one penny of every dollar directly implements Jesus's vision in his parable across national boundaries now taste summer church last year. Last year, 19% of what we took him was dedicated to getting the gospel to the ends of the earth. We want that to be a lot more but it's it's why we are so focused on missions, even if that benefit us is not a direct visit. We know that we gotta fulfill what Jesus says here Matthew 25 is one of the reasons, by the way I'm getting involved more in the southern Baptist convention because that's who we give a lot of money thrown we want to see a leaner, more efficient structure and getting the people of the nation's right me to get it.

We got people that are dangling on the end of the rope in some of these countries that doesn't mean we gotta do what we need to do on our side to make sure that we got the best structure to support them and send them mousing to William Carey who was the British missionary who went to India, the father of the modern missions movement as he was leaving he told us congregation in Great Britain.

He said I'll go dangle on the other end of that rope in India but you gotta promise to hold securely on the other side. For those of us got called to stay here which I'm in a category now I've got a commitment to the people that are carrying out Matthew 25 to hold which means I give and I pray take trips to go support and just lift up their hands and say how can I serve you. How can I bless you you to be a sheep or goat trust Christ surrender to service and his team down actually get involved are you doing your listening to Summit life with pastor, author and teacher JD Greer JDR listeners hear from us every day. But it's not as often that we hear from them. So it's a real treat when we get a letter or an email or phone call Molly. I know I speak for both of us and everybody here at Summit life to say that there is nothing we love more, nothing that is is encouraging to us is hearing a first-hand account of how God is using this program.

This teaching is broadcast to change lives for eternity. We've heard from people that God is delivered from from sin through this servant from struggle with addictions or depression are the most incredible stories of how God is taken a word that was sewn at just the right time and used it to bring eternal life. I'm you were the ones that are enabling us to get this gospel message into the hearts of people and to saturate our country with gospel centered teachings are thank you, thank you for how you have given of yourself to make make these messages these words accessible to others. We would love to hear from you. You can always call us at 866-335-5224. If it's easier, feel free to email the following interact requests JD well your online check out our newest resource interactive devotionals from the parables of Jesus called the great King and follows along with our current teaching theory to help drive your heart will send you a copy. Thank you for making a donation to the ministry level. $35 more 20 online Molly Thursday dictating hearing. Your ministry

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