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I Came Not to Bring Peace, but Division

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2020 9:00 am

I Came Not to Bring Peace, but Division

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 19, 2020 9:00 am

For the most part, everyone likes the Jesus of Christmas, who brings peace on earth and goodwill to men. And they usually like the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount, who urges us to love one another and turn the other cheek. But uncontroversial people don’t get crucified. On this edition of Summit Life, we’re unpacking more of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus.  

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Today on Summit life with Jamie Greer the difficult statement look at this week Thompson jumped 12 this is what Jesus says do you think that I came to bring peace on earth. No, no, I tell you, but division is in a way and not PC came to bring division. I thought Jesus was the Prince of peace.

Most people even if they're not Christian like the Jesus of Christmas that bringing peace on earth and goodwill toward men and usually like the Jesus of the sermon on the mount, telling us to love one another and turn the other cheek, but the uncontroversial people don't get crucified. Jesus wasn't afraid to stir the pot that are subject today as Pastor JD continues our series called the difficult things of Jesus. Make sure you listen until the end.

For information on Pastor JD's new book just released this week, but right now grab your Bible, let's turn to Luke chapter 12 and get started. The big idea behind this series is that many people have a serious misconception about Jesus and that is that Jesus was this tranquil, unflappable religious group just went around spreading peace and love in groovy vibes and and I told you last weekend.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus was very polarizing. You love them or you hated it at the same time that he was becoming really attractive to certain people. It was becoming really repulsive to others. So you see, toward the end of his life appreciably revealed himself to great crowds thronging sue him. You see, simultaneously, other people, plotting his death. That's how you know I swear you that you recounted the real Jesus either develop feelings of intense love or intense hatred.

There's really no middle ground.

The great irony told you is that a lot of people in our culture. Mostly will find Jesus to be boring of anything.

Nobody in the Bible ever found Jesus bore many hated him. Thought he was full of a thought he was a fraud of faith that happened but nobody ever found them boring so if that's you, chances are you've never really experienced the real Jesus or actually heard what he has said were looking at the difficult statement that Jesus made because what they're going to do is reveal to you, what side of the line that you're on the 1148 and by the way, this is not, once for all sort of decision on what you find is that continually the more you learn about Jesus, the more he challenges you, there are times Jesus makes me mad and I have a choice to whether or not this is gonna let these things develop hatred in me for him and resistance or whether it's going to draw me to him.

So I think that's what will happen here these next several weeks.

The difficult statement the real look at this week comes from the chapter 12's of you have a Bible and bite you take it out and opened it up or turn it on and I go to verse 49 of Luke chapter 12 this is what Jesus says, he said I've come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled but I have a baptism to undergo first and what constraint I'm under until that baptism is completed then here is the divisive confusing statement.

Do you think that I came to bring peace on earth.

No, no, I tell you, but division is not PC came to bring division. I thought Jesus was the Prince of peace. But the angel said he was born.

I come to bring you good tidings and peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Some translations there even say a sword. I came out to bring peace but a sword which is literally, by the way, what the Greek language says the NIV that I'm using this weekend translates it as division because he's not talking about inciting violence. He's talking about dividing his message dividing people, causing bitter division. I see how it continues. He goes on verse 52 from now on there will be five in one family divided against each other three gifts to two against three. They will be divided father against son son against father, mother against daughter Darius mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Jesus is going to divide some families, some of you experience that you not the greatest conflict is overcoming your family came over this issue of where you stand Jesus. One of our campus pastors told me the only time that his father ever took a swing at him was when he got serious about Jesus Christ.

That was when my family needs begin to divide about why why why does Jesus divide certain families was because of the absolute allegiance that he demands his claims are so absolute and so dramatic that it divides families as to whether or not they are fully on board with him or not, the straightest Gospel of Matthew. After recording the exact same statement of Jesus made adds these words to the end of what Jesus said in Matthew 1037 see anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.

Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it. Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it hard so he cannot bring peace with division that he will end up separating people within the same household.

Unless you love me more than you love your own kids. You can't even be my disciple, not like the triple threat of difficult statements like the triumvirate is no more difficult statements he made anywhere in the Bible than these. Here's what I want to be audited for things today. I want to firstly, I want to deal with the widely held myth that a lot of people bring into this bill.

The widely held myth and secondly I want to try to expose for you a staggering claim in three reveal an incredible motivation that Jesus puts within this passage the minute before. I want to ask you of you a few very practical questions about where you are with what he said here.

You may want to widely held myth here is the myth. The myth is that Christianity, the claims of Jesus are more divisive than other viewpoints.

You see, there are some of you who hear this and you say yeah I've always known that Christians and Christianity is divisive, Bible thumping Christians are the bane of society.

There always causing division and there are some Christians were self-righteous jerks and I will acknowledge that, but the assumption is that other viewpoints are tolerant and inclusive Jesus message is uniquely intolerant and exclusive but you see all viewpoints when you really get down to the roots of them are are ultimately exclusive. Let me give you what hopefully will be a pretty extreme a clear example.

Let's say for example that I was a pastor, not some church but I was a pastor of the Unitarian church, Unitarian church, you'll know there's actually couple here in Raleigh-Durham. They leave that all religions are equally valid that they're all headed to the same place. They think God is like a mountain and that whatever you take to get the job is up to you because you're headed for the peak it's makes no difference how to say that our pastoral Unitarian church, and I decided to do a series comparing different religions teach one week on Buddhism and so I know teach that God is not a person is not another personality God is more of a life force that you kinda tap into and God doesn't get angry at Sam because you not a person can't get angry but what you can do is by being as good as you can do so to get into a good karma stream so that one day that that the divinity will repay your goodness with more goodness. The next week I'm going to teach on Christianity and I discovered that here you have a God who is very personal, God was a mind of his own. A God who gets righteously angry at sin and has declared that there's nothing all you can do about that because you're so saturated with sin that by being good you're not going to change his disposition toward you because he loved you detained himself and did for you. What you couldn't do for yourself, and he died to save you so that you could be fully righteous in his sight and be be safe and so I say hi.

These both cannot be accurate pictures of God and so I think the Christianity is right, and I think the Buddhism is wrong. How long do you think that I would last as a pastor of the Unitarian church, not very long though probably be my last Sunday a similar way, way, way to maybe both of the viewpoints are true in their own unit of mystical kind. Obi-Wan Kenobi can get away. Maybe this is different for the problem when you say that is you just told the Buddhist that his view that you cannot interact with God is a person is wrong because you got the Christian over here interact with God as if he's a person and you're allowing him to do that and you just told the Christian that his view that we are too simple please God is wrong. Since your acknowledging that the Buddhists are hereby doing the best that he can can get into a good karma stream just to his good works. You're claiming that both of them have found a workable system but neither of them sees the whole picture of God and how do you know that webmail you see the whole picture of God. How do you know that the roads thereon are going up the same mountain you can make a statement like that is if you got some version of Google maps were you can see that there headed to the top of the same mountain. So another words you're claiming to see the very thing that your say. Neither of them see and that's kind of arrogant to me that it's kind of like hypocritical to deny to other people. The very thing you're allowing yourself to do. How do you know that all religions are the same. It's only if you know where they're headed.

And I claims of superior knowledge. Or here's the other analogy that I used with you over the years is like this parable comes out about the of India three blind men to fall into a pit when the photo pit.

There's an elephant in their blind so they start filling around and one of them grabbed a hold of the task of the elephants is all sphere. The other says no because he's touching the abdomen of the elephants is at the wall. The other gravel details as know it's a broom in the moral of the story as each of them has an incomplete knowledge and only by humbly putting all of their knowledge together will they get a fuller picture of what the elephants like in the moral of the story is that's what each religion is each religion sees a different part of God and only by putting them all together you get a full picture of God which is a quaint little parable.

But here's the question, was the only person in the parable who sees the whole elephant narrator, you so you are claiming to see what nobody else can see because their blind and you have site how Eric how arrogant that you claim for yourself.

The one thing you won't let anybody else have and that is the full and the complete picture you see the hypocrisy that it's exclusive you get a view of God and ours is not fit into it when Jesus came he claimed to be the full and complete revelation of the one true God is either true and accurate when he says that it is not all. Our division comes from the decision that we make about who Jesus is. The Christian says he's God because he's God. He gets to make the rules because he's God I didn't mean to deny what I think the metal you think matters what he says about this world says no no no no I want to get the make the rules to so I'm going to exclude Jesus's claims to the Lordship the world. For example, says you Christians your views on sex are too narrow and we say well we just believe in Jesus. Just make the rules on all things including sex world has its ways of determining what is right and wrong is like always and so they exclude our ways of determining what is right.

Romans chapter 1 says that all of our division and conflict come from this one question is God in charge of our lives or we in charge as he could to make the rules or do we get to make the rules. Either way, that you answer that question, you exclude the other answer.

That's why when I'm talking to a person who tells me that my views of morality or whatever way too narrow. But what I usually do and it does have just last week I usually ask them. I say okay are you saying that my interpretation of Jesus's statements is to narrow and I'm wrong about my interpretation. Are you saying that Jesus's claims Lordship are invalid. That's a very important distinction if you question my interpretation of what he said yeah. I invite you to read the Bible.

I know, but if the question is, is he Lord or not you got answer that question because if he is Lord and that means that he gets to decide what is right and wrong in your life and you don't and see there's a lot of people that are not willing to go there. They don't want to give up any Lordship over their lives.

They want to help make the rules to see you need to ask yourself if you got a problem is my problem with the fact that there is a Jesus who said, I'm in charge I did to make the rules because he's evil Lord of everything that he says he's not Lord at all. There is no middle ground to see it as a may have. To say that Christianity is unusually exclusive. The truth is that all claims the Lordship are exclusive and you gotta decide is he Lord or is he not if he is Lord.

He has total authority is not Lord you are free to make whatever decisions you want to make about your life and what's right and what's wrong. I that's that's number one is that is the myth. Here's number two.

A staggering claim staggering claim. Verse 37 anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. This statement is staggering for two reasons right. The second one is the more obvious ones will be due the first one first convert.

Here's white staggering Jesus puts himself right at the center of our faith. He does not say notice it is nothing here love and obey God's love and obey me.

That makes Jesus. Unlike every other religious leader underpass for right so that means anyways.

I'm religious leader imagined by said it either sitting on my pay unless you love and obey me more than anything. If you love your son or daughter more than me. You were not worthy to sitting here listening to each if any religious leader ever says that you should stand up immediately. You should walk out, do not pass go, do not collect 200 get out because shortly after that the Cooley distribution happens and you want to be there for that part of the service right.

That's exactly what Jesus said other great religious leaders in the world never said that Mohammed never said that Margaret said love and obey God, Buddha never said that that great Christian leaders had never said that John the Baptist's greatest prophet Evelyn Jesus said John the Baptist, that hey, he's got increase God that increase I've got a decrease George Whitfield one of the leaders of the great awakening said may the name of Whitfield Paris from the earth, so that nobody ever remembers it and by the name of Jesus grow brighter. They're all like love and obey God, don't put the focus on me, Jesus, by contrast, always wanted to talk about himself and you need to grapple with that. He didn't tell people love and follow God. He said love and follow me unless you love me more than you love. Everything else you generally follow me, which means that he's either the worst cult leader ever read something different than every other religious leader and that is he is God himself. The object of our faith. This is a staggering claim, by the way, as you little bit more on the beyond academic side is a professor of UNC Chapel Hill environment just released another book basically claiming this that Jesus never claimed to be God.

In Matthew, Mark and Luke. The only claims to be God.

In the Gospel of John and his basic idea is Gospel of John was written later so it was kind of this idea Jesus was God was something the disciples that often added in later positions. Neither Matthew Mark and Luke. The problem is it overlooks clear passages like this one. When Jesus says I've got to be the sole object of your faith. You love you more than anything he's either the worst cult leader blaspheming the Civil War. The artery actually is.

God right right or here's another when on the in in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the gospel more. Jesus forgives sins, we have asked when the sea before you going forgives for your sins against sins against God. It is, like one of our worship leaders was appear on stage and so I walked on the little worship set and just hold off and smack him in the face and I woke up sick. I forgive you the worship leaders like I'm sorry bro and smack you is not me, it's not your place to forgive if Jesus is not God. He's got no business forgive and sends right because it going forgives sins of he's the one we sin against so the everybody recognize that was a claim to be God or or how about this in Matthew chapter 5 Jesus is climbs up on top of the mountain from that mountain begins to teach what they referred to as the second wall. Now the first law was given by whom, by God on the mountain to Jesus and re-creating that and he says this you have heard it said first law, but I say to you, who would have the audacity to edit God but God is.

That's a clear claim.

Or here's one. Jesus says if you turn on the temple.

I will raise it up in three days talking about his own body.

Okay, what was the temple was the main character is it.

What made the temple to temple, that I could not live there. So what, she's a say on the temple I'm God because this temple is my body to see the idea that Jesus does not claim to be God. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke is a complete fiction. The claim to be God. He's even the worst blasphemer that ever lived or he is actually God but him and says that the Gospels were written by Jesus's admirers.

He is profoundly wrong. The gospel was not written by Jesus's admirers was written by Jesus worshipers in the Bible message from start to finish is worship only God and Jesus officially says that's me and that's why say love me more than anything. That's the first reason that claimant staggering. Here's the second reason is also staggering because he is talking about a commitment that trumps our most precious relationships, a commitment that can have no conditions at all, remembers against anybody who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.

Little Arthur son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me can ask you a very sober serious question you love your kids more than Jesus. You cannot be his disciple. She a lot of us come to God because we want him to help our family and God is a good means to a good family what leading to my family stability and so we want God in our lives. But God is a means to an end for us as a means to a stable family and then vote as well get to go to heaven when we die. Jesus will not be a means to anything else here? Are you teaching your kids to obey Jesus more than you.

I try to teach my kids malice is only 11 but I morally try to teach them a is not the daddy mommy want from your life. It's what Jesus wants of your life and what Jesus wants realized turns out to be different than what mommy and daddy won't realize you need to obey Jesus to the Christian world is filled and sometimes I fear even in our churches filled parents who don't want their kids to really obey God, whether interested in is God helping her kids not have sex during high school and not be on drugs and that's why when they get the college and they start thinking about what I want to live and they start saying things like maybe I want to go to the mission field. The parent steps in and says no because it's never been about you obeying Jesus it's been about me using Jesus to get the kind kids and I want parents listen to this. Jesus says to your kids and to you.

I am telling your kids to love me more than they love you and I'm telling them to do that and that if I tell them to do something that you don't agree with. I am telling them to defy you and obey me to make you hate Jesus saith so maybe for the first time you actually considering what he actually says about Lordship you teaching your kids the love Jesus to give him their loyalty more than you redirecting their loyalty and well first you were first to him, redirecting their priorities of intrafamily schedule. Does your family schedule indicate that your kids it's about them becoming your responsible men and women that the college make lots of money is that, that if I look at your schedule is that the trajectory or is it not know.

I can tell that their whole focus is teaching them. Beloved, no Jesus.

I do not want any of this to imply that coming to Jesus gives you some kind of brazen and loving attitude toward your family. People who come to Jesus invariably become better husbands better mothers, better wives, better children. Why because Jesus teaches you to love and lay down your life for those people.

I'm just saying that for many of us our kids and our families have become idols that we put ahead even of God. Your kids are good things that become God.

Things that didn't turn in the bad things is an idol is rarely something bad in and of itself, and I will something good you always just give too much and wait upon many of us are basically using Jesus is to get a good family, which is the ultimate thing for us in Jesus will not be used as a means to anything else. Not pray that I'm teaching own children to love the Lord obey even over my desires for them.

You're listening to Summit life with pastor Janie Greer at Summit life. Our mission is to help die deeper into the gospel every day. That's why we are committed to bringing you these messages on the radio and online no cost to you will never see one of Janie sermons behind a pay wall, that's for sure that that's only possible because people like you make voluntary contributions to let me invite you today to become a gospel partner and join us in our mission to reach the world with the gospel. Gospel partners commit to a regular monthly gift to the ministry that surely the backbone of all that were doing here at centerline. So join with us and let's change the world for Christ. When you get today will say thanks by sending you a new but just released this week from pastor Janie, honest questions, quick answers he takes about 20 theological, ethical, and leadership questions and answer them in just a few pages, a reference book to give you some language to talk about and understand more about questions like, does the Bible condemn slavery and how should Christians engage in social media and the Old Testament still relevant honest questions and answers when you get today I'm going 335-5220 866-335-5220 request of an online we are not lying on the website. Be sure to sign up for our ministry and plan articles all kind Janie.com hi Molly benefits joining King Jesus to be sure to learn more about Christ join us Monday on Senate life by Janie Greer minutes


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