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July 26, 2021 11:55 am
Does everyone enter the kingdom of heaven as everyone is aware make it to heaven. You think you're going to be in heaven, and if so, on what basis do you think that you will enter the kingdom of heaven.
Also, here's another question who's the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is another question. How should we treat those who are in the kingdom of heaven is very very important questions dealt with in this compound compelling passage today and I asked you to open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 18 visiting with us were delighted that you're here to stay afterwards for the reception will have the neck of Faye my wife and I will be there, but I would explain the going through the book of Matthew and today we come to the first 10 verses of Matthew chapter 18.
Sometimes eyes. Why do we open our Bibles at the Calgary when so many churches don't. They may put a little verse on the screen occasionally, but their message is not really biblically-based well. Why do we open it Bibles digested the question because we believe our strong conviction and I would not be here if I didn't believe this. I believe that this is the very word of God. People say I wonder what God thinks on the subject. I want God to speak to me. God speaks to you.
God is going to speak to you today is going to speak to you directly if you have the ears to hear.
This is the very word of God we going to read the words of Jesus. I realize they were recorded 2000 years ago, but we believe that this God will for whom we are choosing to above. This God is alive and has done a miraculous thing about a gracious thing through his Holy Spirit, he has given us his word. Do you realize that when the Bible speaks God is allowing God to speak to me as I go along III want to have a dream. I just want to feel something. Here is the unmistakable voice of God. We need to pay attention. We need to have humble hearts to receive his word last weekend. I like some of you wants a little bit of the British Open and one of the commentators as he was talking about days golfers who can do amazing things with that little ball and landed just within a few feet of the he said I was signed by this. He said they really are committed to precision they want to be precise. They know exactly what clubs are going to use.
Let me know exactly when the one that both the land so it will roll towards the pin and as I listened to it. I thought you know him golfers pitting a little ball have to be precise. How much more those of us who open the word of God should be precise and should allow God to speak so that above all today you will leave saying we've had the voice of God to listen to God. It is Matthew chapter 18 Matthew 18 verse one. At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven calling him a child. He put them in the midst of them and said, truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a millstone fastened around his neck and to be drawing than the depth of the sea wall to the world for temptations to sin, for it is necessary that temptations come, but more to the one by whom the temptation comes and if you handle your food causes you to said cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to enter life crippled or Lynn then with two hands or 2 feet to be thrown into the eternal fire that your eye causes you to send tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, and with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire first and see that you do not despise one of these little ones where I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my father who is in heaven.
Amazing passage of Scripture that you take 70 tough. I suggest here Jesus is talking about the eternal fire. He's talking about the hell of fire and will think of that. But before we get there. What is Jesus saying about being great. He saying this, those in the kingdom of heaven are not to seek personal greatness together those in the kingdom of heaven are not to seek personal greatness is very opposite from what the world tells you that disciples like most of us focus on personal greatness. Verse one. At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying who's the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mark, as he gives us Apollo passage in his gospel says that they disciples were arguing who is the greatest put up some of them are a bit envious in the this chapter. Matthew 17 member Jesus had called three of them Peter and James and John and taken them to the minds of Transfiguration and there they saw something of the glory and majesty of God, and you can imagine, I think I would've felt like this if I was Thomas or Philip not being called to a room. You know they think they really good don't need anything their special why wasn't I called to go up the minds of Peter and James and John when they came dying though. Well then we member the circle we really are great so you can well imagine with these 12 men conjure talk about male legal rights, arguing well who is number one in the kingdom of heaven. Yes, that are different callings but that does not constitute greatness in the eyes of Jesus.
Jesus does not say why wait a minute I made a very, very clear, Peter, James and John there great I call them to mind of Transfiguration of Philip and Thomas and the rest of you not you you you your second class.
Not all different callings. That's true, different gifts, different abilities, but that is not the measure of greatness in the kingdom of heaven who is number one that antigen wanting to be first.
One thing to be the best. Wanting always to be right that destroys relationships as that links the disunity to arguments think of that in a marriage who is the greater, who's the best was number one. Think of that in the business in partnership business partnerships. I was a partner in a law firm and law firms are notorious for falling. Who's the greatest was Elizabeth's lawyer was number one Barbara churches about boards, weblike committees, with about elder boards with my pastors meetings. What about life in general not care fundraising whose number one is the greatest. Why does my view, not prevail deadly as the client.
Of course, has entered the ranks of the disciples that asking the wrong question.
Our Lord Jesus. If they had been listening had been teaching them about suffering on the cross, but their focus is not on the cross.
Their focus is not on self-denial and following Jesus focuses on themselves. Who's the greatest after Argentina beats Brazil in the corporate America with apologies to my Brazilian friends.
Some people was a debate after the game side that my say the brilliant Argentinian soccer player who plays for Barcelona. They said he was the goats goats the greatest of all time is that this is not in sport, who is the goat who is the greatest of all time is it messianic person. I don't think so, but wouldn't.
That's my opinion.
But you could argue, is the greatest soccer player in the world's number one Olympics going on. Don't way who is number one. The disciples are CRC greatness in terms of power and position prestige, status, and significance. It's all about me. It's so easy isn't it for followers of Jesus to be like the disciples of to pursue personal affirmation. I did do things the good things in ministry for recognition to be important to get applause from others trying to be known as the most spiritual trying in the Bible study to be known as the that the person who's got all the answers to who really is the best Bible person with all of the knowledge trying to be greatness such self-serving and self-promoting attitudes and conduct a new among us would say that we are immune from that they are totally alien to following Jesus number the wonderful passage in Matthew chapter 11, where Jesus had the headset come to me all you who are laboring under heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn of me.
What did you want us to learn from them. The greatest course is the greatest is the living God is God incarnate, but he said I am meek and gentle and lowly in heart, that is what I want you my disciples.
To learn to be like me you to be gentle and lowly in heart, Peter writes in his first letter that God is always opposed to the proud, and gives grace to the humble. You say, while the supply we did need God's grace, yes. But do it they recognize that the one receive that they think that all rights God is opposed to the product. So if you're proud God is opposed to you your fighting against God.
That is a great deadly sin of pride. It will wreck everything that you are and do its deadly and has no place in the kingdom of heaven.
God gives what grace the book cuts grace, but one cuts grace and God's grace in your marriage.
God's grace on Calvary church, God's grace in the church plant in Atlanta.
Humble ourselves and the key to entering the kingdom of heaven is humility. We converse to calling to him a child.
The brilliant teaching of Jesus.
Imagine this little girl a little boy coming calling child in the midst of these men who are consuming would be number one and said truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is convicting his turn, repents and become like a child humble.
What is humility. I think a lot of misunderstandings about humility is not a particular personality type, not some kind of individual with an insipid personality that wouldn't say boo to a goose but is very humble is not very humble. He's actually means the rest of us, but he has lived in he really wants everyone to think he's nice to see he sprouted some of you will remember from your school days as I do reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. That what you read here, but advisors and Englishmen, and in Scotland we even write Englishmen Charles Dickens, David Copperfield. He hot he paints a beautiful character sketch of this man called Uriah Heep and he kept saying he's a very humble man.
He was very very obsequious and game disappearance very unctuous kind of a syrupy slimy trying the individual, and he kept saying he was humble in England deeply dropped. Sometimes it shows every umbel man, but as the plot continues. It's obvious that your eye is far from that. He's a nasty deceitful person.
No normal person doesn't go around saying he or she is humble. Think of our Savior, our Savior was the humblest of men came from the glories of heaven, and came down down down the command to give a servant to give Abijah that even death on the cross pulses in the Philippines to use the humblest of men. But is the strongest man will help us. Jesus tells us to learn from a child small child or small children are helpless and they're totally dependent on others so you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven by your own efforts by your own accomplishments you think you're pretty well accomplish a well-educated, you're a talented individual and have done pretty well in life that may well be the case. Give thanks to God for it, but you will never enter the kingdom of God that way, was Jesus as he begins his public ministry. Matthew tells us about your forebears.
17 when Jesus comes preaching.
What does he say repents for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
When I to do I determine on. To repent repents of waltz repent of my sin, repent of my Eagle repent of my client. Repent of my rebellion against God. Repent of this attitude that wants to do things my way. Rather than choosing to borrow on to repent you to repent. Matthew has the words of the Lord saying them in Mark chapter 1 repent and believe in the gospel that it's time to look at this child in that culture.
Unlike ours children had no status.
There were the lowest of the low they were to be seen in the very different from children in our culture in many home. Sadly, children from the home and become the center of the home. Remember good and I a few years ago seminar home in Calgary. Churches would never happen here but we invited to this home for dinner and that the couple of a number of children five or six and the youngest is five and were sitting, waiting, waiting for dinner and chatting about platitudes and this little boy comes in he starts kicking me. I think take many times to playing soccer and that there your kickback when the ref is not looking, but I can't really take this five-year-old I think clearly is a little monster and I'm waiting for mom or dad to say stop kicking John know this is funny it's not funny and it became clear that this little five-year-old was head of the home that was not the case in the Greco-Roman world is another picture.
The picture is in the status of society. Adults were on children seen and not heard become like children then regarded as unimportant, insignificant, no status. I'm to learn from a child to enter the kingdom of God by humbly being repented and asking Christ to save me. I'm to continue in the kingdom of heaven growing in the kingdom of God serving in the kingdom of God through humility and that being great and this is good news for all of us being great in the kingdom of heaven is not dependent on your gifts your talents and ability your education, your social status of the mind of money you have your achievements being great in the kingdom of God is nothing like that every single one of us here can be great in the kingdom of God. If we do what Jesus says and said whoever humbles himself as for like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the key entry.
The kingdom of heaven growing in the kingdom of heaven is able I will I know John the five I have achieved the stability was not just achievements just once and for all, is that this is a daily thing is about Lord is telling us number one, don't seek personal greatness. Stop always seeking the limelight start always seeking to be the center of everything, stop that Saba use following Jesus was a problem with the disciples that argue is the greatest do that don't some that don't seek personal greatness in terms of your own achievements. But here's another test, the humble person will base the word of God.
Listen to Isaiah Isaiah 66 Jim referred us to chapter 45 is Isaiah 66 in the verse two to this one.
This is the one to whom I will look.
Here's the one that God looks to is going to put his grace on one that don't you, he who is humble and contrite in spirit, is not changing your personality that become a church of nonentities number tall but to be humble and contrite in spirit, and punitives trembles at my word that there's a test. Do you tremble at the word of God. When did you last tremble at the word of God either leadership meeting on Monday nights. I read the passage in Joshua seven about the sin of Aiken and of what happened to him and challenge their leaders as a challenge myself as a something that we are doing that could cover such a negative impact on the church was very convicting the sense we trembled at the word of God, you take it that seriously God speaking to you today yes you his living word comes to you. If you are heart is open if you ears to hear, and that you tremble either.
Did you think yes that is me that is my ungodly attitude, my selfish self assertion that you tremble either, so that when God speaks say speak Lord for your servant hears. Pride is self assertion pride is the root of all sin. The path to greatness is not but done the past to greatness is in salivating others. Matthew 20 next page in your Bible. Matthew 20 verse 26 Jesus says whoever would be great among you must be your servant.
You provide to sire are to be set.
Personally, I prefer to be served being served. The wife was a great sermon it's for living with a person that really would be great among you must be your servant whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve in the give his life a ransom for many. That is the supreme motivation. An example of greatness is like Jesus Christ who came not to be sad, but to serve, so when there's a crisis, a domestic crisis of the life of Jesus, and no one was there to wash the feet of the disciples. There's no child is no slavers. No woman was no young person to take care of the defeat. Who's the one who's going to come and serve the Lord of glory Savior. He's the one that takes the towel and washes the feet of very dirty, selfish argument to man. I think the angels in heaven. Most of amazed at the one that they said this is God incarnate. This is showing what God is like that when he comes the mighty God's eternal God, the great God when he comes to us in our brokenness in the darkness in the rebellion that he comes to serve you. You serving your servant come to competition is wonderful to be served in the you servant you serving others during World War II kingdom to increase its production of coal and Winston Churchill called the labor leaders together to enlist their support and at end of the presentation. Churchill who was it a great auditors will know yes them to picture in their minds, a parade which he knew would be held in Dili Circus Londonderry heart of London after the war.
First, he said would come the sailors with The vital sea lanes open. Then we come the soldiers would come home from Dunkirk, going on to defeat Rommel in Africa. Then he said would come the pilots who driven the Luftwaffe from the sky. Last of all he said would come a long line of sweat stained suits strict men and minors caps when someone would cry from the work the crowd and where were you during the critical days of our struggle. So structure from 10,000 throats would come. The answer we were deep in the earth with their faces to the coal some in the limelight, some under the spotlight. God calls people for that ministry but this servant is one who's in the shadows, humble people have their faces to the coal, not just when they stand up here getting applause that's easy to serve God with about when no one knows what you're doing. I thank God that we have so many of you to use Churchill's metaphor of your faces to the coal you never got a standing ovation never collapsed, but you are serving God in your home in the community here at Calvary in the shadows thing of vital role in helping Calvary church maintain and expand our mission of being in making authentic followers of Jesus Christ. So were but we can for status or serving in the shadows greatness in the kingdom of heaven, then, is not the number one thumping first, what is being willing to serve particularly the lowest child, the poor, the disabled, the immigrant, the little people are people who don't fit in the disabled. When we receive them is what Jesus said how beautiful this is verse five he says whoever receives such one such child in my name receives me when I receive one of these little ones. Whoever they are. I receiving Christ see how we treat others is crucial in the kingdom of heaven and the homeless person then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, but don't what I'm saying I think I must be the most humble person I called Richard because obviously I'm not the focus is wrong serve others that the Lord Jesus in verse six and verse 10 uses the expression little ones verse six causes one of these little ones who believe in me. So the little ones may be actual little children, but I think it will also include a followers of Jesus, particularly those who are young in their faith who believe in me. So in a sense, all of us are little ones who believe in Christ with others what Jesus is saying something very very important following Jesus with humility means we do not despise others.
Look at verse 10. See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my father who is in heaven despise people done on other people in church life and the kind of individual who seems to enjoy pulling the weeds rather than planting the seed or smelling the roses.
Your your your mission seems to correct people.
There always are critical of someone in and you may come over as despising them is very easy for the managers to come stop don't have that judgmental self censorious attitude. Do you realize your heart followers of Jesus.
When you speak like that when we speak like that to one another when we are mean that you think of all of the meanness and social media in the way that even followers of Jesus speak to one another not to despise one another. Yes, there can be legitimate and should send me legitimate disagreement about do that with humility, and in particular, we must care for their children and for new followers of Jesus, don't lead them into sin. Did you notice verse six whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin. The picture here is to stumble, someone to hurt someone to do and trap someone can I say, very, very strongly. I hope is not necessary at Calvary church but sadly I think it is. Please listen to me.
Do not heart children in any way. Is it what you mean.
John told me to spell it out. Emotional abuse showing cursing at your children man happens more with Manzo to say that women on the physical abuse of children, punched and hit and kicked and some homes yes and some homes which are professing Christian can I say. Also, sadly sexual abuse and incest in the home hurting little children, little boys and little girls and I say to you, if any of you are involved in that.
Listen to Jesus. Did you hear the warning it would be better for him to have a millstone fastened around his neck and to be drawing the in the depth of the sea. Some of you who are adults have been victims of abuse in the home or elsewhere as children or intent teens and you know the terrible impact that has on you so I say to you here at Calvary church on online in God's name do not do not hurt our children that is a terrible terrible warning and we live, we live in a very sick society with pornography, which includes the abuse of children, of which adults mainly men seem to get some kind of kick out of it and that sooner or later is going to lead to some terrible actions. Listen Jesus notice what he says. I tell you in heaven their angels always see the face of my father who is in heaven, which the Lord told us more about this.
I'm not quite sure all that this means what it does mean that God sees it. Of course he does. Angels are watching some think each of us of a guardian angel.
Sure you can prove that from Scripture, but what we can prove from Scripture. Is this from verses like this that there are angels ministering spirits last verse of Hebrews 1 refers to acts 12 we read of Peter's angel members escape from prison. The Angels of the Lord. There are angels in there watching and hearing said that there angels the angels of these little ones see the face of my father who is in heaven. So take note take notes be better.
They were past drowned in the depth of the seat you said that there that seems very harsh. Well not everyone is in the kingdom of heaven. Understand and Jesus Christ is the chief witness to the existence of heaven and hell.
Notice what Jesus is doing as well.
Jesus is teaching that nothing is more important than entering the kingdom of heaven.
Your spiritual life is much, much more important than your physical life physical likes important want to keep in good shape along with exercise.
Nothing wrong with having a healthy diet.
Nothing wrong with Ron nothing wrong wrong with going to run the working out in the gym but it is tragic. If we as followers of Jesus Christ are more concerned with our physical well-being and their spiritual well-being. Notice what Jesus is saying verse seven and eight of their state.
If you handle your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or 2 feet to be thrown into the eternal fire, and if your eye causes you to sin. I've been through it away is better for you to enter it with one eye than with enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hello five.
Jesus is not talking about self-mutilation using a figure of speech. The makeup very, very strong point which he does elsewhere, as was seen in their study of Matthew that you are to deal radically with sin in your life.
This is radical you want to enter the kingdom of heaven. You want to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ that is radical surgery to be done with sin in your life is to be put to death. Great pride lost consciousness, drunkenness, lies, gossip, anger, Paul writes into the clutch and says put them today is the old expression mortification of the of the flesh today is John Owen said the killings, sin or it will kill you deal radically with it and Jesus is saying that it is so important that you do not enter the eternal fire that you must deal decisively with the sin in your life does central to the mission of Jesus central to the teaching of Jesus is the reality of eternal punishment. Verse eight refers to the eternal fire. Verse nine he refers to the hell of fire. That's not my view is not Calvary church saying that this is Jesus saying that there is a reality of eternal punishment you say.
Well if that's the case John that's what I'm heading because I'm a very sinful person. Praise God that you acknowledge your sinful. If you don't there is no hope for you this is the wonder of the gospel, but into our sinful world comes a perfect man is described as the second man is described as a man from heaven are marvelous Lord Jesus Christ God incarnate, he enters into our world into outer darkness and comes as the sinless Christ as the sinless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world understand here is the divine remedy the divine remedy for my for my saying is not by myself to trying to farm iconic photo to change my ways that might be helpful to some extent, but it will never deal radically with the problem of sin, our Lord Jesus Christ comes with what's his primary mission to be the Lamb of God to take with us in the world's name is Jesus, when he saves his people from their sins. And how does he accomplish that salvation by dying on the cross the gospel as he died for our sins. He was buried and he arose again conquered that he conquered sin, he paid the price for our sin and no enough conquered out in the victorious Christ. If I call out to him I will be saving my sins will be forgiven will be washed all the clients. This requires humility. This requires a tightening from myself and understanding that I can do this myself. I'm entirely dependent upon the grace of God and the mercy of God is that why I don't know if I believe is I don't know if I believe in hell. I don't know if I believe in eternal fire. That seems very old-fashioned stuff John Julie churches don't believe that nowadays. While many churches done many churches of thrown away this, but I began by saying this is the living word of God and whether you believe it or not. The reality is that there is a heaven and that is a hell and that you by yourself will never, never reach heaven in your own efforts. You may be the kindness best, most generous person in the sanctuary today, but you know in your heart and I know in mind the sin. There is failure. There is darkness and how wonderful that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish better this I will not perish but I will have what eternal life. That's the only way which leads to eternal life back teaching of Jesus. Russo universalism which says that when all eventually going to go to heaven.
It doesn't really matter what you believe as long as your sincere and are not a serial murderer. That's not the teaching of Jesus, the teaching of Jesus is that is not a way which meets the life that is a broad road which leads to destruction. He comes to open the way from heaven to here is the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father apart from him. So what your response response should be the boat at his feet to choose the boat's are more than totally undeserving of your grace and salvation. Thank you for dying for me on the cross I receive you as my Savior as my Lord.
The living son of God, risen from the dead you ever done that you rest Christ to come and save.
This is the way that we enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says in John three that I should born again you will not see you will not enter the kingdom of God. This is something supernatural God in his grace does what we could never do comes and saves us in the reality is if you ignore that your eternally lost just about. Personally I John, I believe in a loving God guy I my view of God is very different from yours. Well, it may well be, but you must understand is not for you to construct your own little garden your mind to suit your own prejudices and desires in the culture of this world. This is the true God. This is the living God and the love of God is not inconsistent with the eternal punishment of the wicked is not inconsistent. God is loving, of course, is that central to the gospel that God is love.
But he's our God who is loving, that's true, but is also just.
He's also holy and when the judgment of God is about to come on wicked Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis. The question is asked John that the judge of all of their do what is right. You think God is not just charts. Do you think that your failure and more just than God. Do you really think you're wiser than God. Listen, no one is in heaven who should be in hell and no one will be in hell should be in heaven. I don't make that determination.
Calvary church doesn't make that determination makes that determination is our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is his teaching that whoever believes on the son has eternal life.
John 336 present tense.
You and I is were sitting here today and we can have presently eternal life. Whoever believes in the son has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life, but the rod of God abides on him.
Jesus is teaching the reality of eternal punishment. I plead with you to receive Christ as a preacher of the gospel is my bird and my responsibility to explain that if you do not receive Jesus as Savior. You will never be in heaven but you will experience as Jesus says eternal fire merging you to believe the Lord Jesus Christ merging you each one of you to be reconciled to God to repent and believe in the gospel and if you are trusting in Christ, if you're part of the kingdom of God. Listen to this teaching be humble. Think of the difference that would make in our homes for humble responses. If children were humble to parents of fans were humble to children.
I think of the difference that would make a Calvary church if each of us preferred one another rather than ourselves and praise God.
If you have chosen to bow to Jesus as your Savior and Lord, that you will never ever be in the eternal fire, but for all eternity be with the deep as we will sing praises of the Lamb is worthy loved us and gave himself for us. We pray with me saying about God's salvation may not ever have prayed to receive Christ. We do that right now and say well beat the church all my life and not talking but I'm talking about a personal relationship with Christ bow before him, believe and trust asked receive him as your Savior will save you right now you have eternal father, pray that your spirit will be opening hearts and minds. No will see the ugliness of the sin that they will see the beauty and glory of the Lord Jesus that he is lifted up with all kinds of people to him either be happening even though in May, we who are followers of Jesus turn from our pride in their self-assertion and humble ourselves under your mighty hand help us and bless us.
We thank you, but your God of salvation and the Jesus came into this world not to condemn but that through him, the world might be saved may many be saved. This day in Christ name