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January 22, 2022 3:00 am
Culture places a high value on things like being rich, well fed and happy are popular but Jesus sees all of this from a different perspective and as he describes it. What the world seeks to gain is really their loss today on Truth for Life weekend. Alister explains why our study in the gospel of Luke chapter 6 continues as he says in verse 22.
There is a blessing that attends you. It is happiness that will follow you.
That is a list that will be known of you when men hate you, which is of course the exact opposite of what we grow up to believe.
And so it is a striking statement on the part of Jesus. Happy are you when men hate you when instead of welcoming you into their gatherings, they exclude you from the gatherings and instead of speaking well of you in your absence. They actually do mean you and insult you, and when use of the gathering finally leaks out to you, you discover that you have been regarded as a byword and is totally irrelevant. They will reject your name as evil, and the key phrase in this verse is you will note because of the sun of man.
In other words, it is because of our relationship with Jesus as that. This condemnation comes.
There is a rightful sense of condemnation when we had obnoxious individuals and everyone has a right to say you know he is rather obnoxious when we are always picking faults when we are bitter and they say you know I have no time for her she such a bitter person. It is not this to which Jesus is referred he is faring rather out of the lot, which will be the experience of the true disciple who, instead of finding that everybody thinks he or she is a wonderful person discovers that when they really hold the line for Jesus. There will be a point at which it becomes clear that they are hated and despised the Christian disciple should regarded as a cause for joy jump for joy, says Phillips on you like that phrase when here she finds that there on the receiving end of hatred and persecution on account of their faithfulness to the Son of Man striking is another Jesus promises his followers that they would be absurdly happy and yet that they would never be out of trouble and when we by seeking always to establish a policy of appeasement. I want everyone to like us.
All of the time, we will find ourselves on the wrong side of this equation and as I've said before, and as I think we've concurred with one another they pluralistic context in which we presently live where people are very open concerning spiritual things where they're happy for you to explain a little about Jesus and why you I would attend worship and why you been reading your Bible, and so on. They will be able to tolerate that option, to the point where you are prepared to declare with Peter as is recorded in acts four. That is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved and at that point, be ready for the persecution be ready at that point for the hatred berated that point for the spleen and the people will then save the world.
Do you think you are, and how can you be so obnoxious and so arrogant as to believe that Jesus Christ is the only way et al. pluralists will ultimately only accept pluralists and beware of the people who tell you that they really like the sermon on the mound and he wants to know how much they do but they regard Jesus as someone other than divine and the think that it is possible for them to believe in Jesus, who is not divine and yet at the same time to embrace his message. No Jesus, who spoke these words is the son of the father, the eternal son and one part of the Trinity of God no less than going versus 24 to 26 because I think there is an obvious shift here in 20 he looks at his disciples and he says in 24 it would seem likely to me. Although one cannot be absolutely certain of this, that he probably lifts his gaze from his immediate discipleship group and looks out on the crowd now addresses them in a more general way.
Turning from the poor to the rich. He certainly wasn't addressing his disciples because his disciples went rich so he is not speaking to the same group 2nd time.
You are poor. He says I know your own poverty and your poverty of spirit yours is the kingdom of God. But you are rich. You've already received your comfort of the word which is used here which you Phillips paraphrases how miserable the word which is here as wall or may be translated by the English word, alas, or by the phrase, how terrible is really a quite striking word is not a casual statement, nor is it a statement of condemnation, there is a sense of compassion in this work. How terrible for you.
How dreadful it is. How disappointing that you are rich should already have received your comfort. It is not that poverty is the key to enter into the kingdom nor our riches in and of themselves.
The key element in exclusion from the kingdom.
If that were the case, of course, a lady like Lydia who obviously was prosperous in Philippi would never have had her eyes opened in our heart open to the truth of God, and she would never become a believer because she was rich and if by virtue of being rich.
She was inevitably excluded from the kingdom, and there would be no possibility of her being say no. In the same way that just because a person is poor, physically poor is not welcomed into the kingdom simply because he is poor, but only if he understands is poverty of spirit. So a rich person is not immediately excluded from the kingdom. Just because they're rich. If, in point of fact, they understand that all they have is a gift from God and they come to trust in him and depend upon him and embrace their his son as their Savior.
Nowhere help by turning on a couple of pages to chapter 12 and the story there concerning the man whom Jesus called a fool in the context in verse 13 somebody in the crowd pipes up and says, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with all the things it must've been sheltered in Jesus was being quite remarkable. You know he's is engaged in a sermon on his dealing with something always in a voice in the silence as my brother had invited to let me do the lives around and pheasant his eyes and the progeny says man who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you is that I'm not here, the courts are here for that stuff. I'm not here to decide who is getting what then seizing the moment he says you better look at be on your guard against all kinds of greed a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions and he told them this parable. Here is a wonderful illustration.
Incidentally, open air preaching of how to preach in the open air. We've got to go find somewhere to preach in the open air. I'm itching to preach outside where people don't want to hear. I want to go find a spot in preach until the movers and then will preach somewhere else.
I don't know why we don't. It's great. It's this one of the scariest things you can ever do in your life and all of you think your preachers will be there with me. You're going out in the first rotation and willing to find out whether you are preachers because you'll find out real quick. Whether anybody starts and whether anybody stays there is nothing quite like and one of the things you need to be adept at doing is seizing the moment and Jesus in that context takes a shout from the crowd turns it into a teaching moment, and then conveys a parable and it is this parable. Of course, of the rich man who bridges the good drop and basically said to himself.
I've got it made in the shade out there my bonds down and build more and say to myself, you know you got everything stored away your your shares in Lehman account is in fantastic shape and no fear of those commercials that come on during the golf tournaments on Sunday afternoons. You got plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy eat drink and be merry. And God said to him you full is a very striking.
This is not why this very night your life will be demanded from you then who will get what you prepare for yourself and this says Jesus making application of the story that is told is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself.
Now notice there is not enough. There is no order.
There then we would all be committed to a vow of poverty.
We would all have to embrace a form of destitution we would all have to say yeah maybe monasticism is right is not say this is I will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but who stores up things for himself, but is not rich towards God.
Go back to chapter 6 and look at what he says. Walter, you who are rich. Woe to you who think that financial success and material prosperity is the key to your life and you failed to acknowledge your need of God. Walter you are so rich in your own eyes that you refuse to run to God for you have already received your comfort.
We could paraphrase that you've had it you had when you took your allowance early thinking you get another one because your father would've forgotten that he give it to you early and you squandered it fast and you were back for more and he said to you, you had. That is exactly what Jesus is saying here. The rich man will stand on the day that he comes before God and he will plead his case on the basis of these things in Jesus will say to I hope you enjoyed having all that stuff. I hope you enjoyed because you had the snow more. I just married a young man who's a stockbroker married him to his wife. You'll be pleased to know it was just a boy. I was staggered to think that he would look after anything for anybody at all. Quite honestly, and if I'd be in the girls father. I would've been anxious, but not because he wasn't a fine kid but just he just seemed like such a boy there again I can only imagine what my father-in-law thought better. That's by the way, when I said Ginger do you have picked up some good clients tell me about one of the one of the tell me one thing that's happened to you in the last the last six months the structure civil. I open my biggest account and then came in and deposited $30 million with I said yes. What struck Silva when he went to the restroom. His wife confided in me that their marriage was a shambles. The money was a total nuisance to them that they were purposeless in their existence that they were held together by the money and that their biggest concern was the arguments of their children over who was going to get what when all that a man has his worldly wealth.
He is poor indeed. What a tragedy.
Walter you are rich. You've already had it young person you want to be rich. I mean rich rich I mean money rich. I mean stuff in the bank.
Beware not everyone can handle it. Woe to you who are well fed woe to you who are laboring under the delusion that you have no need of God. One day you're going to go hungry. Here's the individual who is able to go. As I said this morning to restaurants around town. They call him by his name. He walks in.
They never give them a bill. It's all taken care of.
Behind the scenes. His friends are never embarrassed with the thought that the check might be given to them because I never ever appears. His car is always part is always ready for him when he leaves. It's always a good morning sermon good evening Sir. And he seems to have it all together. If that's all he has is about to become incredibly hungry. See our society is driven by these things. If we miss that we are missing the point dreadfully and self-satisfied individuals often remain satisfied through their lives. Let's not miss that. Yes, it may well be that the that the foundations will cave for some such individuals, but it may never be better than it did for them because then they may discover their need. But if they're able to go through this way all was well fed, always prosperous, always living with the illusion that somehow or another they have no need of anyone to supply anything to the than the hunger that hits them will be an insatiable hunger that will last for all of eternity. Can you imagine wanting a drink of water for ever.
Can you imagine being hungry with a hunger that never stop being lonely with the loneliness that could never be assuaged. This is Jesus speaking he is speaking about the ultimate realities of life. He is making it clear in the fledgling elements of his ministry that the real issues of life. Actually hinge upon the great question of eternity and about her ability to enjoy life now has to do with the fact that we been able to settle the issue of what life will mean. Then, in other words, in the way to learn how to live is to settle the issue of how to die. And once we dealt with the death question, then we can come back and have another go at life. But until we deal with a death issue will never be able to make sense of life and will be inclined to believe what the world cries out get rich get fed or, thirdly, get funny.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. This is in all the Bible says about laughter. Laughter is good. In fact, doing good like a medicine, says the Old Testament and often laughter can be therapeutic when we particularly laugh at ourselves. It's important to be able to laugh at ourselves when we shared laughter with somebody else.
When we recognize that in circumstances there is a way of viewing things that just is absurd and creates joy within us what Jesus is referring to is ultimately the laughter of fools where whenever things funny. Nothing is worth laughing about where the people are sitting there singing over and over to themselves.
Send in the clowns where the clowns bring on the clowns again.
Somebody knew something funny here because everything seems so dreadfully depressing and dull.
I haven't had a good laugh for ages. You know what comedy is not as good a thing to go and see is a player's tragedy and never will be, because all laughter is eventually flanked even good laughter but tragedy is cathartic tragedy can stereo stolen change leave you thinking about it hours after the play has ended long into the next week, and even the next month and the next year. That's why when the wisemen and Ecclesiastes describes the circumstances. He says it is better to go to a house of mourning than to join the laughter of fool's because in tragedy there is a greater opportunity for us to face the reality of life and the last thing is popularity. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. And woe to you, and all men speak well of you for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets, you know, it's virtually impossible to have everybody speak well of us unless we speak out of both sides of our months.
That of course is a dreadful thing in the business world where you think that you had a conversation and someone is said some interior and then later on in the morning you meet the person concerning whom they were speaking and it is apparent that they left you went into another room and said the exact and if we want everybody to speak well of us. We will endeavor to sacrifice principal left right and center University says how miserable you are when all men speak well of you for that is how their fathers treated.
Notice the adjective false prophets and a true prophet is ultimately too uncomfortable to be popular in the manner the woman the young person who leads a holy life was prepared to speak the word of God with boldness will come quicker rather than later into collision with the ungodly and will inevitably fall into disfavor with someone you have them. In summary, in these two sections are the cartilages of each day. On the one hand, here is blessing for those who are poor, here is woe to those who are rich. I want it. The whole thing and go through and do it for yourself is perfectly obvious. The characteristics of Christian discipleship are from the world's perspective, the marks of losers.
Make no mistake about the characteristics described here of true Christian discipleship from the perspective of the pagan. They are the marks of losers because what is Jesus saying poverty, hunger, sadness, and the experience of hatred. He said there is great blessing that attends these when in the experience of them, both individually and in a unity bring us to see Arthur inability to depend upon ourselves and the absolute necessity of depending upon cognitively the characteristics of the ungodly are the marks of those who have made it rich fat, happy popular the American dream is not only to be ongoing as the Bridges dream do it's the Swiss dream the German dream the Dutch dream is the dream of the pagan I want to be rich fat, happy, and popular where I sign up, Jesus says you can sign up anywhere. There are booths all across the city. But understand this, your signing up for an eternity without. There's only one place where you can sign up for poverty, hunger, sadness, and hatred, and that's when you come and bow before microbes are wonderful teacher, Jesus, how incredibly clear we discover this to be any circumstance that causes us to see more clearly our need for God is actually a blessing. That's the message today on Truth for Life.
We can we been listening to Alister bag and Alastair will be back in just a minute to close today's program with prayer here at Truth for Life teaching God's word is at the heart of all we do.
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This month were recommending a book called spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. This book is an excellent guide to help you get in great spiritual shape. So if you'd like to download the app to find out more about the book were offering to go to the app store and search Truth for Life or you can look for the book on our website at Truth for Life.orc mallets join Alister in prayer Lord Jesus Christ. You were rich beyond all splendor for our sake became poor in order that we through your poverty might know the riches of eternal life, the forgiveness of our sins. Heaven is our home. One of the reasons Lord Jesus, that it so difficult for me to teach this to understand it to apply it in for each of us to respond to is because, frankly, we are surrounded by so much so we ask that you will help us in the midst of the provision that you have made for us and a lot that you have cast for us to navigate our way around the Bible, led by your spirit and stirred up to follow hard after you. We thank you that in the end of this day.
We acknowledge it to be the day that you have made which we been able to rejoice and be glad and we thank you that throughout the world today. We have been able to add our voice to every tribe and tongue and language, where Christ is been embraced and as the day began. So now we bring it to a close in the presence of Christ and in his name we pray.
I'm Bob Lapine. Hope you can join us next weekend. As we continue our series called a Christian manifesto, Jesus teaching in the gospel of Luke is about to get more challenging as he calls his followers to love radically. The Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living