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8-18-19 Sermon

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost  Luke 12:49-56

 

O LORD our God, we pray that the fire of Your love may burn in our hearts to lead us through the present times of conflict and dissention and that the peace for which CHRIST died will be declared to all nations. Please guide each one of us by the Holy Spirit to faithfully guide us in the way CHRIST is leading. In Jesus’ name. Amen

 

I remember visiting with someone who had just had a quadruple bypass. Everything hurt. For those people having orthopedic surgery, a love-hate relationship exists between PT and patient. Many people become very sick from chemotherapy. Nausea, unable to eat, dehydration, weakness. Life seems unbearable. A great deal of pain is the common denominator with the recovery from illness or accident.

There are times in our lives when we realize that present pain leads to future gain somehow giving us endurance in that time of hardship. think Jesus may have felt that way as He was traveling to Jerusalem to keep His appointment with the cross. He said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”

Jesus was referring to His death on the cross when He’d endure the full wrath of God for the sins of the world—our sins. Jesus knew that He faced a gauntlet of shame, pain, and abandonment by God the Father to bring salvation to the world.

Most all of us are willing to go through some pain if we believe there will be some gain. n the case of Jesus, His pain is our gain. He suffers, but we receive the benefit. He forgives our sin. He adopts us into His family. He gives us eternal life in His joyful presence.

Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem ended with His appointment with the cross. When he cried out, “t is finished!” He paid the entire price allowing us to claim His righteousness.

His resurrection is the promise that you will also rise from the dead. All that He has belongs to you because His pain is your gain.

Sadly, there are people who reject this generous gift. Some refuse to believe that there is an eternity. Others think they must earn their own salvation. n either case, by rejecting the gift that Jesus earned for them, they condemn themselves giving up salvation.

But Jesus goes on to warn that those who reject His salvation will take offense at Him. He said, “Do you think that have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division… Even the strong bond of family will break apart over the salvation provided by Jesus CHRIST.

The division Jesus speaks about is not God’s will. He would have us all …maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Never the less, the evil one uses those who reject the Gospel to attack the Gospel. Those who reject His salvation will cause that division.

We live in a culture that is willing to sacrifice truth for the principle-- live and let live, which means we’re willing to tolerate all sorts of injustice--even outright evil for the sake of just “getting along.” Decisions are based on momentary pleasure rather than on what’s right. But Jesus makes it clear: there can be no real peace without truth. Jesus said, “f you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus defines truth as His very Word … the Bible.

Adrian Rogers said, “t is better to be divided by truth, than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts, than to speak a lie that will ultimately kill. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately die with the truth, than to live with a lie.”

The devil, the world, and our sinful nature despise the truth--because the truth states that we are fallen sinners deserving God’s eternal punishment and the painful truth is we can do nothing to save ourselves.

Although the truth of our sin is terrifying, ignoring the truth is deadly. The devil, the world, and especially our own sinful nature label Christians as divisive, narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful… saying they’re trying to create unity which is impossible if there is division between you and God. t is the false doctrines of false teachers who cause the divisions.

Jesus was eager to undergo His baptism of blood on the cross in order to unite us with Him. For He desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. He has sent the Holy Spirit to work in us through Scripture, Baptism, and the LORD’s Supper to maintain the faith that receives the unity Jesus earned and offers to us. The unity that Jesus earned for us lasts into eternity where those who believe will experience the joy of CHRST’s presence forever.

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews states, “Let us lay aside every weight and sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Amen