Monday, March 23, 2015
Let me ask you a question. We all have people in our lives that we love. What do you do when you see someone you love doing something dangerous or reckless? Do you say anything to them?
"Johnny! You shouldn't be cleaning out the lawn mower with your bare hands . . . while it is still running!!"
"Umm, the sign says 35 mph for that curve up ahead. You're doing 90!! What do you think about slowing down a bit. Like NOW!!"
Sometimes the things we do are not always so obviously dangerous or stupid. What if you saw one of your friends taking some drugs at a party? Would you intervene? Would you say something? And what if you did? Would they confront you and ask you to butt out of their lives? What would you do?
Here's a tougher question. When you see a professing Christian, a brother or a sister, doing something contrary to God's Word, do you try talking to them? Have you ever tried pointing out someone else's sin? There are verses that tell us we must make sure we are not guilty of our own sins before confronting others. And rightly so. But we sometimes need to go to our brother or sister in love. Read the parable of the lost sheep that Jesus told us in the Book of Luke.
"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him (Jesus). 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." - Luke 15:1-7
There are several people in my life who have made some not too wise decisions recently. Like myself for example. I have made plenty of mistakes. But then I met this guy named Jesus and things really changed. No, not that fast. I still make mistakes only now I regret them when I do. I feel bad because I know I have disappointed Jesus and that makes me feel sad. After all the things He did for me, I just hate disappointing Him. So I try harder not to disappoint the next time.
I'd like you to read some more words from the Bible. This is John taking dictation from Jesus. Pay attention to this Word of God. This is New Testament truth now.
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” - Revelation 22:14-16
In that passage Jesus tells us who will not be getting into heaven. The dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters and everyone who loves lying and living a lie.
So who are "the dogs?" According to my study Bible they are "anyone of low moral character, unfaithful leaders, and homosexual prostitutes." Do you know anyone who fits that description? There are plenty of unfaithful "Christian" leaders on TV. They are lost sheep. We need to go after them. We need to pray for them. And they need to repent.
How about sorcerers. Who are they? Anyone involved in "seances, witchcraft, incantations, and cavorting with mediums." You know that movie Ouiga? Yeah, that stuff.
The sexually immoral you can probably figure out for yourself. Just in case, this is from GotQuestions.org:
"In the New Testament, the word most often translated “sexual immorality” is porneia. This word is also translated as “whoredom,” “fornication,” and “idolatry.” It means “a surrendering of sexual purity”, and it is primarily used of premarital sexual relations. From this Greek word we get the English word pornography, stemming from the concept of “selling off.” Sexual immorality is the “selling off” of sexual purity and involves any type of sexual expression outside the boundaries of a biblically defined marriage relationship."
I think just about everyone of us knows someone in these categories. Perhaps it's even ourselves. Are you having pre-marital sex? Do you lie when you speak to people? DO you lie to yourself? Are you in a same-sex relationship? And adulterous affair? Mysticism? Witchcraft? Idolatry? Idolatry is a big one. Probably THEE biggest, most often utilized sin. Are the Packers more important to you than God? March Madness basketball? Writing a blog? The answer should be, and must be, no. Is your wife or husband more important than God? Your father? Your mother? No! Nothing is more important than God. That's what it means when God COMMANDS us, "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength."
My friends, we are all lost sheep of one sort or another. If you were lost wouldn't you want someone to come after you? And find you? That all depends I guess on who your god is. If it's pornography or drugs maybe you'd just as soon stay lost. That's exactly when Jesus leaves the 99 and comes after you. He loves you and cares about you but you must give up all the stuff that is mentioned here and desire to return to the flock. Otherwise you will be left outside the gate. That translates to your not getting into heaven. Comprende?
If you are lost, please, call for help. Talk to someone. Talk to a pastor, send ME a message. We are all willing to help but we need a clue. We are not mind readers. Send up a flare. We'll see it and respond. God loves you so much! But we must turn from our wicked ways, repent, and follow. Or we, the idolators, the sexually immoral, . . . the dogs, will find ourselves on the wrong side of the gate. Oh, Lord . . . I fall on MY knees and humble myself . . . an unworthy, hopeless soul . . . totally . . . in need of a Savior. In need of a Good Shepherd.
"I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."
The Lost Sheep (Spoken Word) - Nick Vitellaro