#4 James – How does faith work with people you don’t like?

#4 James – How does faith work with people you don’t like?

James 2:1-13

– Alrighty, we are in a great New Testament book of the Bible called James. If you’ve got a Bible, go to James chapter two. And I like to say, he’s the blue collar scholar of the New Testament. We tend to think of Bible teachers, spiritual leaders, those who are more professorial, or writers and authors as coming from big cities and academic institutions and massive pedigrees, that’s not James’ story. He grew up in a small world town. His parents were married as teenagers, they were peasants. He never made it to a big city, he never went to a great university, but Mary and Joseph were his mom and dad, and Jesus Christ was his big brother. And so he did learn a few things along the way, and when he goes to write this book, it’s after his brother Jesus died, rose, returned to heaven, and what he’s looking at is how faith works. How do you not just have arguments about God, but how do you live a life with God? And what he’s talking about is how to take the faith in his brother, Jesus, and put it to work in the practical day-to-day stuff of your life. Thank you for letting me help you learn God’s word. And if you didn’t get one on the way in, there’s a free study guide. And if you’re online, you can get a free ebook copy at realfaith.com, and it just lays out the sermons we’ll be going through. There are questions to help you study God’s word and help you get connected to here at the church what we call a life group, doing life together, giving life to one another. This week we deal with this subject, and it is how does faith work with people you don’t like? And if you have someone that annoys you, frustrates you, troubles you, you brought them to church, good. Well, now you guys can talk about this on the way home, work this out. If you’re married, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All right, so what happens in life? There’s always a person or a group of people or a kind of person that just drives us crazy, kind of annoys us and gets under our skin and agitates us. And the question is, if we are Christians, what do we do in those kinds of relationships? So first let me ask, think of a time when you’ve been the outsider, there was a group of people and they were sort of a group and you didn’t fit in that group. You were the outcast from the outsider of that group. This happens, let’s say, for example, you transfer into school midyear, and everybody’s got their friend group and you don’t, you join a sports team and these kids all get along and you’re out, you join maybe a band or some sort of extracurricular activity, and these kids are click, and you’re out. You go to work, and these people all get along and you’re not really included. We all know what it feels like to be sort of the outsider, the dejected, the rejected one, the one who for some reason is out, and it seems like there’s really nothing you can do to get in. Think of it conversely, who feels that way about you? Who is the person or what is the group of people that would say, yeah, I just don’t feel like you really understand me, you give me a fair shake, and I’m not sure you even want to get to know me or have a relationship with me. Maybe because you have a prejudice or a partiality or a bias towards me. That’s the heart of what James is talking about. And so what has always happened because of sinful fall human nature, we tend to feel more comfortable with people who are more like us. This can be cultural, racial, gender, generational, and lately, luckily, just throw it out there, potentially politically, you just kind of hang with your own kind and so you tend to think, well, I feel comfortable with these people, I feel uncomfortable with those people. I don’t really know those people, but I’m going to judge those people so that I have a case by which I can reject those people, and we do this all the time. And I would say in our polarized, pressurized, political environment, maybe now so more than ever, there are whole groups of people just don’t like each other or talking to one another, but are very happy to yell at one another. I was reading a study this week of coming up for Christmas, one in eight Americans is saying they will not buy presents for relatives that voted for the other presidential candidate. Merry Christmas, mom, you voted bad, here’s your call. I mean, that’s kinda harsh. And so that’s the issue that he is dealing with. Now, what happened in the early church was, it was the same, the teams were different, but the attitude and heart was the same. The Jews didn’t like the Gentiles and vice versa, the rich and the poor, they didn’t get along and get together. The slave and the free, they never really came together as the same team, and what happens is, then all of a sudden Jesus returns to heaven, the Holy Spirit comes down and guess who shows up at church? A bunch of people that didn’t ever hang out together, actually didn’t know each other, like each other. Now there’s the Jew and the Gentile, the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, and they’re like, well, what are you doing here? Well, God’s my father, Oh, he’s my father too. I guess now we’re brothers and sisters, we are in one big, crazy adopted family called the church. And we got to figure out how to get along with one another. And so there’s this new team, this third way, I call it team Jesus, Paul calls it the new man. And so we’re going to look at how do we deal with as a church family, with a lot of division and judgment out there, how do we have unity and mercy in here? And so he starts in James 2:1-4, and the big idea is don’t look down on them, look up to him. That’s where it all starts. My brother, so we’re family. It’s kind of like kids getting adopted into a family. You didn’t know each other, maybe you didn’t get along, but now you’ve got to figure it out, ’cause your family. My brother show no partiality, that’s prejudice and prejudgment. As you hold the faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ, so how does faith work with people you don’t like? The Lord of glory, for if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, just think of what you would consider really high fashion apparel. You’re younger, you’re like Retro Jordans and the Guardian Sketchers. If you’re older, it’s name brand on your underwear versus you bought them at Walmart. A poor man in shabby clothing also comes in and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and says, “Sit here in a good place.” While you say to the poor man, stand over there in the broom closet or sit at my feet, I do need a coffee table. Have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? And so what he’s talking about here is one of the ways that we have social pedigree and pecking order is by your seating, by your seating. So if you go to a sporting event, the people that are closer to the field, those are the people that are on a different plane economically. We went to the son’s playoff game and I bought tickets, and we were literally the last row. Paul talks about the third heaven. The only worse we were there, we were there. It was like, oh my gosh, the court is in another zip code. Like we are not close. And then he looked down and there’s people on the floor, and then the team is high fiving them, and we’re like, yeah, that’s a different level. This happens as well when you go to a concert, how many of you go to a concert and you’re way in the back, and then you see the people that are the VIP’s and you’re like, oh my gosh, they get food, they get to sit up front, they get to go backstage, they get to take a selfie and make me covet, that’s amazing. This happens all the time, right? This happens as well, how many of you hate going to movies? Because they run an hour and 27 minutes of commercials before the movie. So you like to pre-buy your seats, pick your seat, have a nice recliner, so you can sit there like a king or queen, and just sort of show up late while all the peasants who sat up front had to show up early and watch the commercials. And so what happens is, he’s talking about a case study in a church or a synagogue. And in that day, if you were in a synagogue, which was their version of kind of church for Hebrew Jewish people, you would literally buy your seat. To this day, some synagogues still sell your seat. Imagine if, imagine if to come to church today, you had to go on to ticket master and pay for your seat. I’m praying about it. Just so, I’m just kidding. And all of a sudden you’re like, well, I don’t know. Let’s get the good seats so that we could show up late. Oh, and it comes with a VIP parking stall, and they’re gonna meet you with a glass of water or they’ve got valet parking and they won’t stick us on the naughty dirt lot, that’s good. Okay, and then you show up and all of a sudden your seats are prearranged and pre-signed. To this day some synagogues still do that. So on the high holy days when everybody comes, you’ve got the seat that you paid for. So you can show up late, VIP parking, come right to the front. Meanwhile, the people that can’t afford it, they’re in the back, standing up. That’s the way that it works. So you know who the rich and the poor are. Imagine if he came into church today and they’re like, “Hey, I’m new, where do I seat?” “I don’t know, how much do you make? We have tiered seating based upon income.” It’s fine if that’s the way in the world you get what you pay for, but when you come to church and we’re family, it shouldn’t be different. How many of you at Thanksgiving, your parents, or around the dinner table, don’t organize you by income, right? If they do, I’m calling me, they’re horrible parents, right? You know, oh, you make this, okay. You sit next to me, okay. You make the next amount, okay, you sit next to me. Okay, you don’t make that much, you’re at the kids’ table. That in the family of God, we love one another and it’s so much so that it’s like brothers and sisters and it’s not the way the world operates according to economics, it’s just we’re family. And so if somebody comes in, we don’t treat them differently based upon their income level. Now, what was really weird to me and God’s timing this week, I was in Dallas, Texas, amazing country Texas. And it’s still in America, which is nice. It’s nice to fly to America from America, you don’t get to do that a lot anymore. So I got to do that this week, I went to Texas and I went to a conference for leaders and it was good and got season burns, and I got to teach a bunch of pastors at Cowboy Stadium, got to go down to the 50 yard line. And let me just tell you this, after being in that stadium, I don’t want to hear anyone complain about mega churches ever again. I’m like the Dallas Cowboys are the biggest cult I’ve ever seen. And their screen is bigger than our building. I was like, no one should ever complain about church technology, this is crazy. So I got done teaching and I wanted to get home to teach a real man on Wednesday night and my flight was gonna cut it close, so we went to the airport and thought, okay, maybe we can get an earlier flight. So I jumped up to the line, they said, well, we have standby, the flight is sold out, but you might make it if you just sit stand by you might get home early, I was like, “That’s great.” So they called my name and I go up and they’re like, “Hey, we have a seat, you can leave early.” I was like, “That’s great.” I was like, so if you’re going to ask for a seat, what would be the first one you should ask for? If you’re not a seasoned traveler, this is the helpful part of the sermon, aisle, aisle, because those two crazy people, at some point you may need to get away. Okay, you may need to get away. And if you can’t get the aisle, the next is, at the window so you can look out the window and ignore those two crazy people or at least take a nap. The worst seat is, the middle seat. Oh yeah, if you’re a standby middle seat, that’s where Catholics got the doctrine of purgatory. It’s not hell, but it’s a painful place that feels like hell for a little while, until you get out. That’s where Catholics got the concept of purgatory was from the middle seat. It’s a terrible place, you need to be for a while to just pay your price. So I was like, oh, they like, we have a middle seat. I was like, . Okay, so I jumped, I get in there to, Grace said, I need to be careful how I say this, she’s my wife, and my conscience lives in Grace. And so if she’s not here, we’re in trouble. So I ran this by her and there were two people that didn’t fit in their seat, let’s just say that. Okay, just moving right along. Okay, so I look at them and they look at me and they’re like, and I’m like, oh, we all know this ain’t gonna work, but we don’t say anything. And so they’re like, “Would you like to come in?” “No, actually I wouldn’t, I’d like to get in the overhead bin, that’s what I’d like to do. I’m gonna go with the overhead bin.” So I finally get in there and I made a strategic error, I took my bag with my laptop and I put it under my feet, not thinking I have no upper movement room, now I have no lower movement room. Now I’m Houdini man. Now I’m in a situation I gotta get myself out of. And I’m feeling claustrophobic. So the flight’s like half an hour late. And I’m like, okay, I gotta go to sleep, I got to ignore this. And let me tell you this, when you turn 50, God gives you a super power to nap, he doesn’t give it to young people, it’s too powerful. They can’t wield this superpower. So what God does when you turned 50 and you’re mature enough, he gives you the superpower to nap. I was like, oh yes, Lord, I will nap. So I kinda got, you know, I kinda got in the position a little bit and I actually went to the chiropractor after this flight, two stories. So I’m in my position and I fall asleep. I think, you know what? I’ll just ignore it, and then I get awakened, two traumatic things happen. I hear the loud sound of what sounds like a wild animal. And it smells like a diaper change, these are happening. So I wake up this person over here, their head is on my shoulder and they are, snoring in my ear, I was like, “Ah!” So I go over this way and it smells like Satan’s breath. And this dude has a massive bucket of chili that he snuck on the flight. Like you really gotta be committed to your chili, and like, I might go to jail, but I might have chili, I’m fine either way. I mean, he smuggled the bucket of homemade chili on the flight, and he’s just eating it with a spoon. I look over, he’s like, I mean, chili. I was like, oh, I know, I know, I know it smells like a diaper over there. Dude is pounding it bucket of homemade chili. And I’m like, okay, this is terrible. So I hadn’t even started the sermon, hadn’t even touched it, I’d been busy, I thought, you know what, Lord, I’ll just sit here and study your word. Here’s your faithful servant Mark. So I’m trying to get my laptop and it’s now a full on T-Rex ’cause this is all I got. I’m full on T-Rex, I get my laptop, I open it, I open it, doing my T-Rex Bible study between the snoring and the chili, and up comes James chapter two, cheap people get bad seats, I kid you not that’s my Bible study. And in that moment, I thought, you know, I mean, I do like better seats, I’m not gonna lie to you. Better seats are good, but how many of you in life, it just feels like you’re always in the middle seat? How many of you your whole life just feels like middle seat, snoring and chili, that’s just your whole life. And when he’s talking about when people come into church, we need to consider them in a way that is different in the world, in the world to give it, you pay for it. You get the seat you pay for, you get your position on the org chart. But what he’s saying is when somebody walks into God’s house, there’s a reason why we don’t sell tickets, it’s free. Our God does grace. Heaven you don’t pay anything, Jesus paid for everything. That’s how you’re saved and that’s how you enter into the kingdom of God. And so what he’s saying is, I wanna say thank you to those of you who are generous. There’s lots of people, they get free Bibles, they get free Bible study, they get free church, they get all kinds of free stuff, and it’s because those who have paid for it and those who don’t know Jesus or can’t afford it, can’t, that’s how a family works, that’s not how a business works. In a family, I pick up the tab for you. In a business, you get what you paid for. So what he’s saying is when you come to church, we get so conditioned when we’re out in the world, that we judge people just simply by some externals, and we look at the outward, we don’t look at the inward, we don’t really get to know who they are, we just judge by what we see. And this is the counterfeit of discernment, it’s just looking at people and pre-judging them, which leads to partiality. The sermon is I get to know you and your heart and your character and your motives of the counterfeit of that as partiality, where I just make generalizations. Okay, so let me ask you this, let’s just talk about it for a minute, we got nothing else to do. So what are some things where we tend to look outwardly and rush to judgment to determine whether or not this is someone that we would like to know or have some sort of relationship, what are the things we look for?

 

– [Congregation member] Bling.

 

– Yeah, Bling, what are you wearing? You know, did you get your watch at a Walmart or is it a Rolex? So there are certain clues and indicators of income and status level. One is jewelry, watches, accessories, what else do we look for?

 

– [Congregation member] Car.

 

– Car, what car do you drive? Oh my gosh, would you look at that? I mean, we have the bear Jackson auto auction, you don’t know what this looks like, drop by this winter, it’s pretty fun. But it is quite an undertaking. You start on the outside of the bear Jacksonville, looks like their cars amazing, and then you get inside, you’re like, that car is not amazing. I mean, it just gets better and better. In addition to car, in addition to jewelry or furnishings, what else do we look for?

 

– [Congregation member] Where do you vacation.

 

– Where do you vacation? Put it on social media so we can comment. You know, where do you live? What is your zip code? I do live in Scottsdale. Okay, but are you in South Scottsdale or North Scottsdale? Because the north is closer to the Lord Jesus, you know, that’s where north is. All right, what else do we look at or look for, for external clues and cues? Who do you hang out with? What is your social circle? What do you do for a job? Where are you out on the org chart? Are you CFO, are you CEO, are you J-A-N-I-T-O-R? Like, where are you on the org chart? How beautiful are you, how beautiful is your spouse? How amazing are your kids? All of these externals. Let me just tell you this, in Scottsdale, a lot of the people who appear to be doing well have a lot of debt. They’re lying by financing, they’re projecting a lifestyle that they don’t provide for. And so in our world, we tend to prefer people, and the preference works both ways. Sometimes the rich people don’t like poor people, the poor people don’t like the rich people. Sometimes the young people don’t like the old people, and the old people don’t like the young people. So the prejudice and the partiality, it runs in both directions. What he’s saying is as we come together and as we look, we tend to look down on people that we think are lesser than us. And then we get a little arrogant and proud. Like, you know, I’m smarter than you, I’m prettier than you. I’m better than you, I’m more successful than you are. You know, well, you’re a Cruck, that’s why you’re rich and and you ripped us all off and you’re corrupt and we’re doing social justice to your wealth, you’re welcome. So what happens either way, we tend to look down on people, and the key to stop looking down on people, he says is to look up to Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. Rather than looking down on them, look up to him. And here he calls his brother Jesus, the Lord of glory. Now Lord means that Jesus Christ right now is ruling and reigning, He’s the highest authority in all of the universe. It says repeatedly in the Bible that right now Jesus in the unseen realm, after risen from the dead is high and exalted and seated on a throne. It appears in 17 to the 22 chapters of revelation, 45 times the New Testament talks about Jesus on his throne, ruling and reigning as king of Kings and Lord of Lords, ruling over heaven and earth, having all authority and all dominion. When the throne appears in the Bible, all worship, all glory, all honor, all obedience goes to Jesus on the throne, all authority, all dominion, all rule, comes from Jesus on the throne. And what sometimes happens is we look down on those people rather than looking up to him. And we’re so worried about where we sit on the org chart, in the family, in the ministry, wherever the case may be, we tend to forget that all our seats are under his throne and his throne is ultimately the one that we should be paying the most attention to. And he uses this language that Jesus Christ is the Lord of glory, glory. And what that means is that if you are impressed with yourself, the quickest way to solve that is to look up to him, and to realize I’m not a big deal, he is. My group is not that impressive, he is. And when it talks about glory in the Bible, it mentions this word about 275 times in the English language. And it uses words like splendor, beauty, magnificence, radiance, heaviness, weightiness, prominence, preeminence, luminescence, splendor, majesty, holiness, purity, and worthiness, you know that you’ve seen glory when here’s your response. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Right, so what happens when a sun sets in Arizona? How many of you love the sunsets? You just pull over and you just stop. And you’re saying, wow. There’s something in us that was made to feel small in the presence of something beautiful and bigger than us. This is why we drive all the way up to the Grand Canyon. Just think about it, it’s a big hole in the dirt. I’ve seen holes in the dirt and I didn’t make long drives to just be there. But what happens when you go to the Grand Canyon, there’s a sense of glory, this is big, I am small. Something in me feels really good about being small. It’s because you were made to be in the presence of God and understand your place in all of creation. This is the kind of feeling that you get when your sports team does something amazing and everybody jumps out of the stands and like, this is what a husband feels when the door opens on his wedding day, and she’s actually there wearing a white dress with a smile, glory, glory, yay. Glory is when you see someone or something that is beautiful, majestic or inspiring, overwhelming, gives you a right sense of being loved, but also not being the center. And that is Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. And the problem is when we think of Jesus, we tend to think of him in humility, not in glory. Right now Jesus is not poor He is rich. He is not in humility, He is in glory. Right now He is not working as a carpenter, He is ruling as the Lord. Right now He is not being used and abused. Right now He’s being worshiped in a door. That you and I need to continually think of Jesus, not just as he was, but as he is, because as he is, is as we will be. Not only is Jesus in glory, He has gone before us and he has prepared a place for us in glory. It doesn’t so much matter what you make today, it doesn’t matter so much where you live today. It doesn’t matter what you drive or what you wear today or how you look today or what you wear today, today is a brief moment, it is as the Bible says a little while, and then when you go before the throne of Jesus, he is going to reward you for all that you endure in this life. And you’re gonna get a new seat. It says this Jesus does in Matthew 19. In the new world when the son of man talking of himself will sit on his glorious throne. That’s the Lord of glory and throne. You who have followed me will also sit on thrones. So maybe you drive a nice car, you don’t drive a nice car. Maybe you’re way up the org chart or way down the org chart. Maybe in your family, you’re the one that everybody loves or you’re the one that nobody understands. It doesn’t matter where you sit today, it matters to some degree. I don’t wanna miss smirch suffering in life, but at the end of time, Jesus will say everything you’ve been through I faithfully reward and I have a throne for you. Not only is all of eternity going before Jesus’ throne, God’s people are going to get assigned by Jesus their own throne. He says, everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father, or mother or children for my namesake will receive a hundred fold in and inherit eternal life, and many who are first will be last, and the last will be first. What happens in this life is everybody’s just trying to climb their way up the ladder. And what Jesus says when all is said and done, I will reward everyone according to their obedience and faithfulness. And some of you have lost some position, you’ve lost some income, you’ve lost some influence because of your faithfulness and love for Jesus. And as a result, you may not be in the seat to use that metaphor that you want to be in. We’ll just be faithful in that seat and then when all is said and done, he’s going to receipt you. Have you ever been somewhere where you had a seat and somebody came up and said, oh, actually, I’ve got another seat for you and you got reseated. When all is said and done, Jesus is going to reseat you. The seat you’re in is just a temporary seat. It’s just sitting in the waiting room of eternity. And when all is said and done, he has a throne for you. So what he’s saying is, stop looking down on them, look up to him, don’t worry about how you’re interacting or related to them, worry about how you’re interacting with and related to him and just be content with the seat that God has given you, and when eternity comes, that seat will be changed. In addition, the next point that the Lord Jesus makes is don’t look only at the outward, look also at the inward. This is why we have Facebook and we don’t have soul book. Right, everybody looks at the outward, nobody looks at the inward, the Bible says Old to New Testament, man looks at the outward, God looks at the heart. God looks in, we look out. Are they beautiful, are they young, are they rich? What do they drive, what do they wear? What do they live, what does their family look like? You know, let me peer into their life. Listen, my beloved brothers, again, we’re family. We’ve gotta think in the church as a church, like a family. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith? There’s two economies, your finances and your faith. We tend to pay far more attention to the economics of finances than we do faith. Those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him. But you have dishonored the poor men. Are not the rich, the ones who oppress you and the ones who drag you into court. Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called if you were really to fulfill the royal law according to scripture is gonna quote his big brother, Jesus, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. But if you show partiality where the good people, they’re the bad people, I prefer people like me and I judge people like them. You are committing sin and convicted by the law as transgressors. And what he’s talking about here is outward versus inward. It is fine to have outward, okay? You have money, great. If God’s provided a great lifestyle for you, awesome. If God’s given you a nice car, enjoy it. Not against any of that, but in addition to what’s out there, we need to pay careful attention to what’s in here. Do you love God, do you have character? Do you have integrity? This is the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control manifest itself through you. And what he’s talking about is in the world that’s pretty much just about money. And we have judgment and evil thoughts, James sold us. And what that is, we’re looking for people who can benefit us. Oh, you’re beautiful, maybe we could date or marry or live together, sleep together. Oh, you make a lot of money, well, you could be good connections for networking. Oh, you’re a high net worth person that could really benefit me. And what he says is what we can do is we can just look at everybody as a bank statement, not a human being. And as a result, we can overlook some of the best human beings, because some of the best human beings, they don’t have a great bank statement, but the ledger in heaven, they are rich in faith. I don’t mind if you’re rich in finance, it doesn’t bother me at all, it doesn’t bother God at all. But the question is, are you rich in faith? This is the economy that God cares about, not just the external, but the internal. Here’s the big idea, who you are is more important than what you have. And the truth is, life is not necessarily improved by just generating more wealth, it’s having better relationships. And so as you’re looking for a spouse, you better be looking inward. If you’re looking for a friend, you better be looking inward. If you’re looking for people to do life together, you better be looking inward not just outward. And what he’s talking about here is rich and poor. And again, historically, and categorically, we’re rich, right? If you’re in America, they keep sending checks to your house with air conditioning, and not making you pay your rent, you’re rich, you’re doing good, right? If you flush the toilet in your house, winner, winner, chicken, dinner, right? You’re doing great, and so what we tend to do as Americans, we tend to go onto social media and look at the most affluent people and then consider ourselves the poor, instead, we need to look globally and historically and say, we’re the rich, ’cause they’re looking at us. The rich and the poor tend to be two categories as I’ve said previously in James that are dominated by sort of this socialistic Marxist thinking. And it’s brainwashed most to go to university. Universities where you go to get an education, but not wisdom. And what happens is then you’re told that the rich are the oppressors and the poor are the oppressed and the name of social justice, the poor attack the rich to redistribute the wealth through government, which is stealing. And so we tend to think in terms of rich or poor, and as I’ve told you previously, the Bible has four categories, and here’s what they are. There are godly poor, that’s James’ family, his mom and dad, Jesus’ family is poor. There’s the godly rich, James is not opposed to them. And chapter two and chapter five of his book, James, you’re gonna meet Abraham and job, two very godly people who were very, very wealthy. So he’s not opposed or against it, you gotta read everything in context. Then there are the ungodly, poor people who are lazy, people who are bad stewards, and then the ungodly rich. What he’s talking about here in James two is category one versus category four. He’s talking about godly poor people who are being oppressed by ungodly rich people, who are taking advantage of them and lowering up and the poor people can’t afford to defend themselves in court. And what he’s saying is this, if all you do is look at the outward, you’re like, I wanna get close to the pretty people, I wanna get close to the powerful people, I wanna get close to the rich people, you’re gonna miss some of the best people. Now what you find in the church, sometimes somebody who’s very rich and somebody very poor, they have a very loving, healthy relationship because they’re both rich in faith, they are both rich in integrity and character. When it comes to the people you’re gonna do life with, and to trust your heart with, and to invest your days with, don’t just look external, look internal. If they’re rich, great. If they’re poor, great. The question is not are you rich or poor? The question is, are you godly or ungodly? How do you know your godly whether your wealth? Well, first is how do you get it? Do you work an honest job? Do you invest smart? Do you tied to the Lord? Are you a good steward? That’s godly, if you don’t do that, that’s ungodly. And so it’s how do you obtain and how do you dispense steward your wealth, your possessions, your fluence, and you can be rich or poor, doesn’t really matter, the question is, are you godly? Now some people that I know that are the most godly, I know some people that are incredibly godly and very rich, and God has enriched them because they’re good stewards. I know some people that are very godly and very poor, and they’ve chosen a difficult path of life, often in missions or ministry because they love the Lord and they’re storing up their treasures in heaven. So their 401k doesn’t look great, but their eternal K, sure does that. God is going to richly reward them and give them a throne. And what I would ask you is this, are there certain preferences that you’ve allowed to become your prejudices? It’s not a problem to have your preferences. Like, I like this kind of music, this kind of food, this kind of neighborhood, you know, this kind of school for my kids, that’s your preference, but does it become your prejudice. And those people, I’m not sure about them. Because think about this, if we just looked at the externals Jesus Christ in his early thirties, before he’s died on the cross and returned to heaven, how would we evaluate him just looking at the externals? Okay, so Jesus, where’d you go to college? Answer, yeah, I didn’t. Well, have you traveled much? Not, never gone more than 200 miles from my house and I walk everywhere, I can’t even afford a ride. So what do you do for a living? Well, I street preach, occasionally I cast out demons but those people tend not to have a lot of income so it doesn’t pay really well. Also, how famous are you? Well, yeah, they’re usually trying to kill me, I’m not super popular. Well, how about the religious people? I mean, surely they love you. No, actually they’re the worst. I told them their mom shagged the devil, they’ve been really frustrated with me ever since, it’s in John eight, by the way. Wow, so tell me about your family. Kennedy’s, rots out? Nope, small rural town, teenage peasants, got married in middle school, had me. My dad’s a carpenter. Hmm, where do you live? Homeless, where do you sleep? I couch surf, how about your wife? Yeah, I’ve never been married, never had a serious romantic relationship, you got any kids? Nope, we would look at Jesus in his thirties and say, loser. You’re unemployed, homeless, no income stream, no wife, no kid, no plan, and he’s God, Don’t pursue your potential, pursue your calling. Jesus could have made a lot more money, but that wasn’t his calling. Jesus, I’m guessing he would’ve been a good husband, but that wasn’t his calling. I’m sure he would’ve been a good dad, that wasn’t his calling. He could have run a company a really good, he could have run a government, in fact he does right now. It’s called the kingdom, and he’s really good. I mean, it’s going well, it says that the streets are paved with gold, that’s a guy who’s made it right. He’s looking at paradise valley going dump. But if you were to walk around and just judge the outward, not the N word and only be attracted to those with beauty, wealth, power and platform, you wouldn’t have been really interested in Jesus, because outwardly there wasn’t a lot to show, but inwardly he’s God and he’s perfect and he’s rich in faith. I just want to unburden some of you, right? Your net worth does not determine your self-worth. That ultimately at the end of the day, I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, I don’t think God much does either, I think the question is, are you godly? Now there is, and so some of us are rich, some of us are poor, but what he says is if we’re God’s children, there’s one thing we can all be rich in, love, love. And we live in a world that has a lot of judgment, not a lot of love. So he quotes the Lord Jesus, he quotes his big brother. They came to Jesus and the religious leaders are okay, we’re reading the Old Testament, we knocked out the first five bucks, it’s called the Pentateuch, which means book and five parts. It’s called the law or the Law of Moses. And of course the studious types, you know, they wrote down and numbered all the laws. We got a number of these, somebody’s gotta organize this, 613, they actually fought. ‘Cause there’s one that they debated if it was one or two. So some said 613, some said 614, either way, there’s a lot of laws and they got to put them on the fridge like Watts, it doesn’t even fit on the fridge. That’s a big gold star list. So they go to Jesus, Hey Jesus, yeah, it was pretty long. Could you tweak that for us? Just sort of break that down, summarize that, simplify it? And here’s what Jesus says, here’s the big idea. Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it, Jesus says is actually, if you’ll love God and love people, the rest will figure itself out. James chapter one is about loving God, James chapter two is about loving people. His whole book is following this quote and summation from his big brother Jesus. And so what happens is we tend to look at people and ask, what do you have? And what God says, he wants us to ask is who are you? You may not be a wealthy person, but you can be lavishly generous in love. You may not be able to give very significant gifts and some of you can and you should, but we can all give love. This is the one thing that the world doesn’t understand because God is love and God gives us his love, God pours out his love through us by the Holy Spirit he has given us. What that means is we have a limited resource for finance, but we have an unlimited resource for love in faith. And he’s saying that when we come together, as God’s people, when we do life together, as God’s people, it shouldn’t be judging one another. It should be loving one another, it shouldn’t be partiality, it should instead be seeking out do one another in love. And so what he’s talking about here is love and what love means is your my priority. See what he’s talking about previously is we have partiality and we’re selfish. How can you benefit me? You’re pretty, you’re successful, you’re powerful, that benefits me. Love says, how do I benefit you? Jesus came down to the earth, not to be served but to serve, not to be loved to love, not to take but to give, the essence of Christian life is just love. And that is, what is best for you, even if it is not best for me. When it came time to go to the cross in the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus was stuck between what was best for him and what was best for us. What is best for him is, not to endure wrath of the father and be crucified. What is best for us is that he would go to our place and take our penalty for our sins, that he would endure the wrath of God and he would forgive sin and conquer death. And in that moment, he had to choose between what’s best for me, what’s best for you, what did he choose? What’s best for us, for God so loved the world. That God demonstrates his love for us in this war were yet sinners Christ died for us. That no one has any greater love than this than they lay down their life for their friends. Jesus life and death were for you, and he loved you and he did what was best for you. And so if you want to grow as a loving person, one of the most important things is to figure out the people in your life, what does love look like for them? And Jesus says to love your neighbor, so who’s your nearest neighbor? Your spouse and your kids. Oftentimes religious people look over their spouse and kids, who can we love? It’s like, no, no, no love and ministry start at home. Love your spouse, love your kids from there, your family, go love some other people, but it starts at home. And there’s gonna have Gary Thomas, he’s written a good marriage book, most of you’re probably familiar with, he calls it the five love languages, he got this thesis that’s really helpful and that is, that oftentimes we’re loving people, but their love language is different. It’s almost like two people that don’t speak the same language, they can’t communicate and connect. So you need to learn to become bilingual. Say there’s a Hispanic person and an English speaking person, they get married, they gotta learn a little Spanish, they gotta learn a little English so that they can communicate. So what oftentimes happens is, with our spouse, with our kids, with our friends, we think that we’re loving them, but they don’t feel loved by us. And if you’re married and had this experience, I just don’t feel like you love me, like I don’t love you, I go to work every day I come home and I do my God, and here comes, the little attorney rises up in us to give the defense. And if you’ve not had this experience, you’re single. Okay, and you will, I’m just prophesying your future. And his five categories for love languages are quite helpful, one is a words of affirmation, this can be encouragement, I believe in you. This can be praying over someone, it’s encouraging them. This can be a text, this can be an email, this can be the handwriting of a card or a letter, but it’s words of affirmation. The other is acts of service, how can I help? What burden can I love? What do you need me to do? I’m super practical, just tell me how I can help. And then there are gifts, sometimes it’s a big gift. I got you a new car, sometimes it’s a small gift. A friend of mine, he gets up before his wife and she loves a certain kind of tea with a little bit of honey. So every day he gets up before her spends time with the Lord, he makes her tea, puts the honey in it and brings it to her so that she starts her day with her husband giving her a little gift. It’s a little thing, but it’s a big thing because it’s an honest thing. And sometimes it’s not just gifts, sometimes it’s quality time. Hey, let’s hang out, let’s go for a walk, let’s sit down and turn your phone off, you know, turn the TV off. Let’s let’s have a date, let’s go for a walk. Let’s get some time away, let’s get quality time. We need to do face-to-face, we’re always doing shoulder to shoulder and stuffed down, we need to do face-to-face and make sure that we’re connected and close, and then touch. Like I like to hold hands, I like snuggle like to hangout. And what happens he says is we’ve all got at least one, some of us are high maintenance and have more than one, I know a guy. And when grace and I first got married, I know that she loved me and I loved her, but she didn’t feel loved and I didn’t feel loved. It’s because we had different love languages. Her love language was service, so she is laundry, dishes, groceries, gas up the car, wash the car, back in the car, I mean, wow, me? That’s not me, I am touch, I have multiple times faked an injury to get a back rub multiple times. How are you doing? Oh my gosh, I pulled a thing, it’s a terrible thing. Would you like a back rub? I hadn’t even thought of that, that’s such a great idea. Oh my gosh, the pain is shooting to my neck, I need a neck rub too. So this is right. And so when we’re driving, I like, I always hold Grace’s hand, I like to snuggle. I like having her around, I call it ministry of presence. I just like how I like her, let’s get a little secret. I like my wife, okay, I like having her around. But hers is gift of service, so she’s always like doing stuff and I’m sitting on the couch, like hey, come on over, come on over, hey, you came from my rib, you need to come back, like, you need to, you need a bit, you can either come back home here, baby girl, right? She’s like, no, no, no, I got to dust the light bulbs and I got to go clean the gutters. And I’m like, no, you don’t, no, you don’t, I’m good at hiring people. Like I don’t have the gift of service, I have the gift of hiring. I got my son yell, and we’ll fix this here, sit down. And so she’d be like, I can’t sit down ’cause I’m loving you. I’m like, no, no, no, you need to sit down ’cause that’s how I feel loud. And then we had kids and she’s like, “You better get up and do some stuff,” I was like, “Honey, but my love language is” “Oh, okay, okay, okay.” You know, so now if like the other day, I couldn’t believe, I bought her gifts, I’ve incurred. The other day I gassed up her car and washed it, she got teary. She’s like, thank you so much, I’m like what the heck? You didn’t get a new car, you got gas in the old car. But for her, it was just serving. So I did, I mean, I’m way off, I’ll tell you yesterday, I guess I messed up. Okay, so not just yesterday, it’s not like was Jesus until yesterday. But like I woke up before Grace, first time in our whole marriage. I believe, you know, hey, the Lord is on the throne, I’ll see you at noon, that’s just kinda me. You know, I know nothing to worry about, I don’t get up early. So I got up, I don’t know why maybe ’cause I’m 51 soon and I’m old and we get up early. So I got up early and I was like, okay, I’m gonna serve my wife, I’m not gonna make any noise. So I’m doing my ninja thing, trying to get out of the bedroom quietly, closed the door. And I’m like, I’m gonna let her sleep in, and I’m thinking, how can I serve Grace? How can I serve Grace? ‘Cause hers is acts of service. So I’m like, okay, so I cleaned up downstairs and I have to be like this, I gotta like, Lord Jesus help, I don’t think about doing things. And he’s like, take out the garbage, I was like, oh, okay. So I’m trying, so I got the garbage and I’m gonna let the dog out, and I opened the door, but I forgot to turn the alarm off. So I’m trying to serve my wife by not making any noise. And oh, the good news is I was quiet with my feet and I didn’t shut the bedroom door loudly, but I did turn off the alarm in the whole house. Wake up my wife, the whole thing I’m trying not to do, she comes downstairs, I kid you not, this is my wife. Excuse me a big hug, she says, “Thanks for trying.” Which it was very loving, but now that I think about it, it’s like you tried, you know? But the point is like, love is who are you? Because let me ask you this to really love someone, you have to get to know them, you do. To judge someone, do you have to get to know them, no. So judging someone is easy, loving someone is hard. Judging someone you don’t even need to get to know them, loving someone you really need to get to know them. And what he’s saying here is, don’t judge people, love people, don’t just look at the outward, get to know the inward, and the truth is, not only should we look at their outward, we should look at our inward ’cause God looks at our inward and that’s where he transitions. The world runs on judgment, the church runs on mercy. James 2:10-13, forever keeps the whole law. Like I read the whole Bible and I did it all, and I only missed one thing. It’s a fail, but fails in one point has become guilty of it all. For who you said, I love how he says this, he’s like, I know a God who wants said, who is that guy? His brother, Jesus, I would’ve sent it this way. My brother, Jesus Christ, who is king of Kings and Lord of Lords, and shared a bunk bed with me and from eternity pass chose a brother named James. Do not commit adultery also said, do not murder. If you did not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor the loss of speak, and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of ;liberty for Liberty for, excuse me, for some reason, liberty, I don’t know why, I’ve got that commercial gone. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Here’s the big idea, so I underlined, mercy triumphs over judgment. Here’s what we tend to do, we tend to show up on the earth, and we tend to think, there are good people and bad people. Of course, I’m one of the good people. And if those people are different than me, they are the bad people, I don’t really know them, but I judge them and I’m partial against them and I compare myself to them so that I look good. Here, He talks about murderers and adulterers, he’s like, let me stop not a murderer or an adults are. And today you know that you’re a really bad person when you pull Hitler in. Anybody who is like, I’m not Hitler like, well, yay, yay. Thank you so much for not being a genocidal, demon- possessed terrorist. Yeah, you’re a really good person. Like, and so what we tend to do is we tend to have some moral outrage for them and we feel that we’re better than them. This is what drives social media by the way, every day is, who’s worse than me that I can draw attention to so that no one asked me who I am, it’s a diversionary tactic. And we tend to think that there are good people and bad people, we tend to judge the outward not the inward, and what he says is Jesus works totally differently. The God of the Bible works totally differently, the God rules and reigns through perfect unchangeable and fixed laws, and that you and I are judged by Jesus, the judge, according to the laws. And what he’s saying is we tend to think of people who live their life as on sort of a continuum or a scale, you know, from a F student to an A student. And you’re like, well, Mother Theresa is an A student and Billy Graham’s is an A student and you know, Gingiss cons and F, I’m probably a B. And we tend to, and what God looks down and he doesn’t see that, what he sees is pass, fail. If you’re perfect, you pass, if you’re not, you fail. If you do everything the Bible says, except for one thing, you’re a failure, and it says this line, it’s haunting from Jesus in Matthew five, be perfect is your heavenly father is perfect. God is not a pass fail, it’s a perfect imperfect category. And in addition to God judging our outside, he also judges our insight, he judges your inside. So here he’s talking about murder and adultery, Jesus took it a step further, and he said, murder and adultery is not just what we do with our hands, that’s what we do with our heart. He said, I’d never murdered anyone, really? Did you murder him in your heart? You’re like, yeah, I’ve had a lot of heart murder. Have you murdered their reputation? Have you murdered their relationships? Have you murdered their emotional mental wellbeing? Because sometimes you’re like, I don’t want them to die, I just want them to hurt every day, which is just hard murder. And Jesus says, in addition to adultery of the hands, there’s adultery of the heart, you lost after someone, you’re into pornography, you have impure thoughts. Now in hearing this, what we’ve done is we’ve gone from judging them to allowing him to judge us. As soon as we do that, we realize we are sinners, we have fallen short of God’s word and God’s ways, God’s standard, and God’s scripture. And so what he talks about then is, we deserve judgment, guilty people deserve some sort of consequence for their behavior, and we’re guilty. See, we tend to be very aware of their sin, but not our own, but those other people tend to be very aware of our sin, and the truth is we’re all judging one another, because we sense, you know, there needs to be some judgment here and God’s like, I’ve got this, I’ll judge all of you. And his conclusion is, that we’re all sinful. Now, some of you were here and you’re not a Christian, let me speak to you for a moment. Or maybe you’re a prodigal or you’ve been away from the faith for awhile. And you would say, well, I’m not a bad person. Nobody’s perfect, that’s the non theological way of saying I am a sinner. There is one person who is perfect and we murdered him, that’s how imperfect we are. His name is Jesus Christ, and so when it comes to God’s law, judging us, and us being imperfect and sinful, having broken God’s law, externally with our hands, and internally with our heart, he says it really comes down to only two options. So if you’re here, this is the most important thing you’ll ever hear, this is the most important decision you will ever make, are you going to proceed forward toward judgment, or will you go up to God for mercy? See the good news is this, either God judges you, which is how, or God comes to give you mercy and be judged in your place, that is Jesus. The story of Jesus is that he didn’t stay up there and judge us, he came down to serve us. He came down to love us, he came down to substitute himself for us. The story of Jesus is this, He is God, become a man. He lived the perfect life, the only life without sin, and he went to the cross and he died in your place for your sin to satisfy the judgment of God, which is right and good. And on the cross, all of my sin was placed on Jesus and he took all of the judgment and that he gave me all of the mercy. So the idea is this, you’re all guilty, we’re all guilty. The question is, will it end in judgment or mercy? This is where you need to make a decision, whether you will give Jesus your sin and receive from him mercy so that you can be forgiven and become a brother to him and a child of our heavenly father, or whether you will continue in your path that ends in judgment. Now, if you will just, even in the quietness of your heart, because God knows the outward, not just the inward, if just, even in the quietness of your heart or mind, you go, you know what? I am a sinner, Jesus is my savior, I’m asking you Jesus to forgive me so that I get the mercy and I’m grateful that you took the judgment, there is never a person who will turn to Jesus, that Jesus will turn away from them. And this begins your eternal life as you become a person who is no longer headed toward judgment that living under mercy. And let me say this as well, I close with a rant and I’ll bring the band up, I’m not sure where this is gonna go. But what happens here in James, is James makes an incredible promise. What he says is he told us in James chapter one, that those who don’t only listen to the word but do what it says are blessed by God. Here he tells us that God will pour out mercy for those who recognize their personal sin and live under Christ the Lord, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And he says, if we will be doers of the word and live under Christ as our Lord, not only does the mercy of God come down, but it unleashes something that he calls the law of liberty. The people are set free, the destinies are changed, the cultures are altered, that lives are rewritten. And this was written 2000 years ago and James makes this incredible prophetic proclamation about the future, that if we will be under the word of God and live by the mercy of God and live for the glory of God, that ultimately God will pour out liberty on people, wherever the church and gospel of Jesus Christ spread. Now we find ourselves in this historically unique position, 2000 years later, here we are. And the question is, did it happen? Did the freedom, did the Liberty, did the mercy, did the blessing that God promises to those who are under his son and under the authority of his word, has it happened? And it has, we live in this day when there is this great grand cultural, longing and desire for, we need to have tolerance and diversity and equality, and issue is why? Apart from Jesus Christ, why would we have any notion that those things were conceivably possible? Until we have cosmic justice with God, how could we possibly have social justice between one another? Until our relationship with God is right, how could we possibly make right our relationships with one another? Now, if you’re here and you’re not yet convinced of the gospel of Jesus Christ, or maybe you are, but you have been in your closet, not public with your faith. Let me just say that there are only a few what I would call, worldviews or meta narratives or grand ways to see life and God and your place in it. I’m going to eradicate the options, I’m gonna tell you about Jesus, and then we’re gonna sing some songs. I’m gonna summarize chapter seven from the most recent book, critical theory versus Christian theology, it’s free at realfaith.com, you’ll get what you pay for. I haven’t been in trouble for a while, that should fix it. Here’s the big idea. When it comes to life, if you reject what James is teaching, and what the Bible is modeling, here are your options. And the big idea is, James is talking about part, not having partiality, but equality and justice and liberty and human flourishing. Your first option is something called karma, prominent in Eastern religions and Hinduism. And it is this, you live your life, there is some sort of cosmic scorecard, your good deeds and bad deeds are measured. If your bad deeds outweigh your good deeds, you reincarnate and you suffer to pay off your karmic debt with your eternal goal being nirvana, which is nothing. The result is that you and I would not be compassionate people because if someone is suffering, it must be a consequence, it’s not that Jesus pays, they must pay. It’s not that Jesus is the one who makes it right, they need to come back and get it right. This is why you go to a place that believes in karma, there is no grace, there is no mercy, there is no justice. There is no generosity because there’s no concept of benevolent God. This is where you get partiality in the caste system and the untouchables. You’re looking for equality and impartiality and liberty. You won’t find it in karma, some then choose, his lawn, which is the fastest growing religion on planet earth, you won’t find impartiality, men and women are treated differently. Those who are Muslim are considered superior and those of us who are Christian and Jews are called monkeys and pigs and were inferior. Sharia law has no place for freedom, it’s convert or die. In addition to the way women are treated, it’s not without partiality and liberty and equality, and wherever it spreads, it’s a demonic counterfeit to the kingdom of God, and it doesn’t bring the law of liberty, it brings the law of death. That’s exactly what happens in radical, jihadism. Your third option is atheism, and what people will say who were atheist well, religion is the cause of all the conflicts and the wars. I believe in Jesus and Math, and the truth is atheism kills people. In the 20th century alone, we see that 170 million people were killed by other human beings, 130 of those by atheists, Stalin killed 40 million, Hitler killed 15 to 16 million, Mao killed 70 million Chinese, and we look at that, like, I can’t believe they did that. We have murdered over a billion people in the womb through abortion. We have a holocaust on our hands. We have partiality toward the unborn. We believe in justice and equality and liberty once you make it out of the womb, but the most dangerous place to be is still the womb. The leading cause of death is not COVID, it’s abortion. And I just call out the hypocrisy where it’s like, well, let’s follow the science, hey, we’re at it. Let’s follow the science that says that life begins at conception. Hey, when did we all become, when did we, well, we need to take the vaccine, we need to shut down the economy, we need to put on a mask, why? Because we believe in the preservation of human life. Oh great, now we’re all pro-life, welcome. Been waiting for all of you to join us because what we have now is we’re willing to do anything for the lives of the born and nothing for the lives of the unborn, because we have no partiality. We have total partiality and we have no liberty. Now, if you are one who has had an abortion, God loves you and can forgive you. But in this day up, we just need to love people and preserve life, what about the most frail, the most fragile? What about the most vulnerable the unborn life? Our God was in the two, he was in the womb rather before he was in the tomb. He was in the womb of a teenage unmarried, rural, peasant girl, praise God there wasn’t a clinic in Nazareth, He would’ve never made it to the resurrection. In addition out, the outgrowth of atheism is they cannot live without some concept of equality and justice and liberty, so they steal it from Jesus. Frederick Nietzsche, the great atheist he credits Christianity for the concept of equality. In the will to power he says, quote, “Another Christian concept has passed even more deeply into the tissue maturity, the concept of souls equal before God.” He went crazy And as Christian mother tended to him at the end of his life. What he says is we don’t actually have any reason to believe in equality, impartiality, mercy, and liberty, but just something in us, it’s kind of like, maybe we were created with a conscience, something in us really wants that, so we’ll steal that from Jesus. Richard Rorty, the more modern philosopher just comes out and says it clearly. He says the idea of universal human rights was a completely novel concept in history, resting on the biblical teaching that all human beings are creating the image of God. He calls himself a freeloading atheist, I just stole it. Out of this atheism comes out, what we would call evolutionary thinking, if you want equality, if you want mercy, if you want liberty and you believe in evolutionary theory, it absolutely is incontrovertibly contradictory. And the concept is that we started as animals, and then some of us evolved, there is some sort of continuum. Therefore some of us are more human and some of us are more animalistic. And our own tragic nation’s history, there was about a hundred years where people who are non-white were only counted as 60% human for reason of voting and census. And we all know that it’s based on the teaching of Charles Darwin. This is where evolutionary thinking comes from, and you’ve been told in school ’cause you were lied to, he wrote a book called the evolution of the species, that’s not the whole title. He says it is called rather on the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life. Evolutionary theory is inherently partial, not impartial. It leads to slavery for some not liberty for all. It is the belief that we were not made in the image and likeness of God, and it leads to all kinds of classism and racism and nationalism. Here’s the big idea, according to the Bible, there’s one God, he made us all, if you trace our family tree back, there is only one family, the human family, there’s only one race, the human race, Adam and Eve are the mother and father of us all were made in the image and likeness of God, we did not evolve from lower form animals. That what happens within this evolutionary thinking, the fit people need to get rid of the less fit people. So there’s a guy named Thomas Malthus who’s comes out with a philosophy saying, we need to have social justice and reorientation, at least to something called Nazi Germany. The historic pursuit of social justice led to Jewish people be putting in furnaces because the thought was, well, they make money, we need to reallocate it. They have education, we need reorientation. They’re in a privileged position, we need to take down our oppressors. This led to world wars, we’ve been here before. Humanity is driving around the same stupid col-de-sac, declaring progress, when James says, if you want liberty and mercy and impartiality, you need to repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ. There was a gal who took the thoughts of mouth is and applied it to birth control sterilization, her name was Margaret Sanger. She realized that big camps were not good concentration camps, so she instead architected small clinics and she opened something called planned parenthood. As a result, even though those who are Hispanic, black African-American would account for 29% of the population, they account for 55% of the abortions, because we need to go into the poor clinics and we need to get rid of certain people and we call it liberty and it’s demonic misery. And here’s the big idea, if you want equality, you have to believe in the word of God that there is one God who made us in his image and likeness. There is one race, the human race. If you want justice, you need to come under the authority of God’s word. We are all sinners by nature and choice, God sees what we do externally. God knows how we feel internally and he says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and he comes down to fix our problem. And he lives the perfect life, and his name is Jesus Christ. And he comes to love us and to be judged for us. And he goes to the cross to substitute himself and die for us, if you want justice, you need Jesus. If you want equality, you need Jesus. If you want mercy, you need Jesus. If you want liberty, you need Jesus. Because when the sun sets you free, you are free indeed. Everything that James promised, 2000 years has come true. I am not ashamed, we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the power of God, it changes lives, it reconciles relationships, it transforms nations, it’s the only hope for planet earth, and I don’t know what they’re doing up there, but we’re gonna worship in here.

 

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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