Pastor Lewis Cushman St. Cloud Church of God.
“And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Luke 9:52-56 KJV
What happened to the disciples that made them fall into a pitfall? Were they just over zealous?
Q What is a pitfall? A pitfall is something very dangerous, it is an unseen danger. People often don't see them till it is too late. They are hard to get out of once you have fallen in. We need to know what's going on, or we might fall in. We are living in the very edge of Christ's return. People are getting chipped... Think about that.
THE PITFALL OF BEING UN COMPASSIONATE.
The church needs to be full of compassion.
It is surprising to hear the hateful things coming from the mouths of Christians.
We are supposed to be like Christ.
How many times have you talked with someone who is not going to church anymore because of a church member hurting them?
Some people won't walk across the street to tell a neighbor about Jesus, but they will drive across town to carry some gossip. Gossip can destroy. Show compassion.
What is compassion?
It is feeling sympathy for someone else.
A selfish person cannot be compassionate to others.
A selfishness person only has pity, compassion for themselves.
A selfish person is cruel in their dealing with others.
JESUS HAD COMPASSION.
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
John 8:3-11 KJV
An intolerant person cannot be compassionate. But we should NEVER tolerate sin. Jesus helped people but told people what was right and wrong. He had strong words for those who lived as Hippocrates. Read the Bible. Jesus was tolerant, but he also said GO AND SIN NO MORE. Tolerance is keeping a smile when someone else's kid act just like yours did.
THE PITFALL OF BEING PREJUDICE.
People came to Jesus that did not fit the mold of religious people.
Jesus said, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9:50 KJV
God work is for everyone. When we decide who can come into church based on prejudice we are not serving God. Bring in the people and share Jesus. Who decides who can worship? Let God work in peoples lives.
Three things that should not be in the church.
1- Social prejudice in the church. Your social standing should never be a qualification to be in a church. What kind of car you drive, where you live. Let people in and God can work in the hearts of the people. How much time did God give you to get perfect? ... Not there yet? You better welcome people regardless.
2- Age prejudice. Your people are getting the cold shoulder from the elders. We need to welcome the young people in because they are the life that a church needs. Children are little people. Youth are people too. They may not be as tall, wise, or reserved as us old people.
3- Racial prejudice. Jesus addressed this on several occasions. Jesus loves people regardless of race. God is not prejudice. Jesus is not prejudice. Love people because God loves them not because of what race they are.
Graphic Art and Blog content by Matthew Law, inspired by Pastors and visiting speakers messages.