Matthew 10:16-25 Sermon by Pastor Eric Chang
See, I am sending you like sheep into the midst of wolves, be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of all men; because there are going to betray you to the assembly of their religion and you will be flogged in the cult house. And since I, you will be dragged before rulers and kings as a witness for them and for those who do not know God. If they gave you, do not you worry about how and what you must say, because everything would be given to you on the spot. Because you did not say anything, but the Spirit of your Father, He will speak in you. People will betray brother to death, as well as a father would his son. And the kids will rebel against their parents and will kill them. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name, but those who endure to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another city, because I tell you the truth before you are finished visiting the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not greater than his teacher, or a servant of his master. Suffice it to a student if he be like his teacher and for a servant if he be like his master. If the host is called Beelzebub, let alone her own household.
Today, we continue discussing the Word of God in Matthew 10:16-31. In a message and we'll have to see what it means to be feasible; we see that feasibility is attitudes that enable us to receive the blessing of God's salvation. We also see in verses 11-13 that they are not eligible will not receive a blessing. Although it has been pronounced blessing the disciples are told to take it back if it turns out the person receiving it proved not feasible. "Greetings back to you," Jesus commands them. This is a stern warning for us.
You may already be here and thanks to God is ready to give to you, but if you prove worthy, you're not just not accept it, but what has been given will be taken from you. This means that the mercy and grace of God is given to you free of charge but if you are not feasible, then what has been given will be taken back from you. It is the words of Jesus, not from me. This is His command, "Even if you have to say your greetings to him, it will return your greetings to you if they are not worthy." It is extremely important for us to understand what it is proper attitude toward God.
On Judgement Day later, there will be many Christians who found himself on the wrong side. Many of the doctrine of God warns us to this point. Read carefully the parable of the servants who are not willing to forgive. Servants who are not willing to forgive these debts forgiven which actually has a very large amount. But because he refused to forgive his debt is only a small amount, debts that had already forgiven him and then charged again. In other words, forgiveness has been withdrawn from him. Consider this, the debt itself has been forgiven, but because it proved that he did not deserve forgiveness, he was then required to repay all its debts.
This is a harsh word a very uncomfortable in our ears. You may not like to hear it but this is the doctrine of God, not from me. I do not have the authority to change the picture. But many Christians today who seem to think that they are authorized to change it. But if we talk about truth as God teaches, we are at issue. But I will not waver in stating the truth. So I am reminded once again about the teachings of Jesus - His peace, His salvation will come to you but you must prove worthy. That's a fact.
In a message earlier about the feasibility, I convey about the actual illustrations from the experiences of John Sung about an elder in a church asking for prayer. Elder who keep sin in his life asked him to John Sung, to pray for a paralyzed leg. And the first time John Sung prayed for him, he did not recover. Prayer is not just the second time does not heal but instead he fell dead! Although after that John Sung raised him back, but his legs are paralyzed is not cured. Because he does not deserve, he can not receive a blessing from God. The man was not just not receive the blessing, but he even almost got into a curse, he almost lost his life!
Illustration above gives us a strong warning: do not fool around with the living God. God is the living God. Be careful if you deal with him. His goodness is not limited, but his violence is also very great. His very great violence against those who wanted a blessing from God but still want to stay in sin. As we see in Romans 11:22, God's generosity matched by his violence against those who endure in sin.
Shake out the dust: freeing the reporter from responsibility when the Gospel is rejected
In the verses 14 and 15, Jesus said that if someone does not accept you, then shake the dust off your feet. What does it mean? That is a sign that no longer exists in the relationship between you and the person. I have no connection with anything else. I do not even want my legs exposed to dust from your house and also from the way-your way.
Then what is the meaning of this breakup? This means that from now on I am not responsible for what will happen to you. I have been calling upon you to repent. I have submitted a call to accept God's salvation, but you do not want to receive this good news, then I am no longer responsible for yourself because you have rejected the gospel. That's the symbolic meaning of shaking the dust in paragraph 14.
All this shows us that God's character sangtalah balanced. There are people who always thought of God as a person who is very loving and can not act tough. There is also a picture of God as a person who is very hard and do not know how to love. But God is both because He is love and holiness as well. Personal God is balanced, unlike the human personality which tends heavily to one side. In the violence or the need for holiness of God is always balanced by perfect love. You will not find this kind in the world personally. Thus, God is very concerned with our salvation, so He warns us about what will happen if we do not receive salvation. He tells us that to accept or reject His love is not without consequences. Leave the love of God or turn away from God's love means we will perish in sin.
In this era, an evangelist in a position critical. People can see the love of God and also to see how terrible sin. Sin will destroy you, like cancer, and here there is the Great Physician is pleased to help you. If I love you, I will express my love with the way God revealed Himself. I will tell you, "Come to the Great Physician and He will heal your cancer. But if you do not want to come, let me warn you, I am not responsible for what will happen to you. You will die by your cancer . you will die in pain that no terkirakan. I beg you to believe what I say. All that does not need to happen to you. Come to God and He will heal your diseases. "
I must say both. I must say, "Come to God and healed. But if you do not come to God, then you will perish in misery." And I will do everything to attract your attention this issue. I will do everything I need to do to instill into your mind about the horrific consequences of your refusal.
This is what is being done by the students. They're saying to people, "Repent. If you do not repent, the result is horrible. I am not responsible anymore. I have to clean the dust from my feet." Shake out the dust that does not mean that from now on, I do not want to care anymore with you. It means that I am not responsible anymore. I really care about you but I can not be responsible for your illness because that responsibility lies in your own hands. This is the way taught by Jesus to evangelise to His disciples.
I wish today could evangelists evangelize with a sense of responsibility like that! This is why I can not mitigate problems at the moment I'm preaching the gospel. If I deliver something that is not true to you, then the responsibility for you in the eternal state will be in my hands. So I have to tell you the truth even if you do not like to hear it. A doctor will still say to you, "you have cancer," even though you may not want to hear it. What joy gained from convey such a thing? Like the doctor, I must tell you the truth. I do not want to seduce people into the church by submitting to them the things they want to listen to it. I do not want to evangelize with the ruse or deception because in the day, I should be held responsible for it all to the living God, not to you. How will I answer when He asks, "Why do not you convey the truth as I have commanded you?" We must always evangelize with full responsibility.
Think of your responsibilities to others: You know a disease that is making people dying out there, you know the answer to the disease; you know who can heal them if they perish without a chance to tell you, who is responsible for their destruction? What if your school friends, or friends in your office telling you on the Day of Judgement, "Why are you who know about the cure for the illness, apparently never told me the way for my cure? You never told me that Jesus can cure me. You know that I will perish in sin, but you never told me? " How do you feel on that day? Dust will be in your shoes. He is entitled to sue you: "Proof that there is dust on your boots is the proof that you knew me. And should I die even though I never reject the Gospel? I never refused because I never knew about the Gospel." How do you feel that day? This is the importance of dust at your feet. Shake out the dust mean freeing a person from responsibility.
Christians should be eligible for the grace of God's salvation
I have to speak the truth to those who say, "No matter unlike anything the way my life was, how sinful I am, I will remain safe." Christians will hear from the Lord later, "I do not know who you are. Get away from me," These people will have no claim upon me. I've warned them that this will happen. I've been preaching the word of Jesus Christ. So I warn you once again: be eligible for the grace of His salvation.
The word 'reasonable' appears as many as 41 times in the New Testament, and most appear in Paul's letters. Paul has repeatedly said, "I ask that you live a decent life for the gospel, that you will Christians do not embarrass the gospel of Jesus Christ"? Do you think that when Paul warned them, then the meaning is, "Well, if you live a life that is not worthy of the gospel, it is not a problem, do not worry"? This is not the purpose of Paul! Paul was warned, "If you do not live worthy of the gospel, then you will face a big problem with God!"
But in this day and age, the church filled with people who believe that they should live and what they like once they are saved then they will remain safe. They can sin as much as they want, and there will be no problem. And I was the person giving different things. Open up your Bible, and let those who believe as I argue it with facts from the Bible.
But even if they did not open his Bible, I really can not understand that they can not imagine that God would allow Christians to live what they like, to sin as much as they want and will still be saved. What kind of God do you believe it? What kind of God that your faith? Do you want to tell me that He will enter the non-Christians to hell because their sins, but will remain saved Christians regardless of their sins? No wonder if those non-Christians say that Christians are just spout nonsense. Such a God is not worthy to be trusted. And all my sympathy in this case focused on the non-Christians.
Allow me to convince non-Christians that God is a just God. If Christians do sin, then He will punish Christians. And He will punish Christians just as hard with non-Christians, even harder. People do not obtain a license to sin because he is a Christian. Jesus stated it very clearly.
The character of Christian life
In the remaining time thereafter, we will see God's teaching about the character of Christian life. Right now, the way the gospel is preached begitu nonsense that people confused what exactly is a Christian. Then the non-Christians say, "Well, I live life as well as Christians. For what I became a Christian?" Good question! And whether the responses from Christians? They propose a weak excuse, "Well, the way I live is not the problem. It all depends on the generosity and grace of God."
If so, then what it means to be born again? What it means to be a new creation if you are still in the shackles of sin as before? How can you become a new creation of your own if not better than non-Christians? Or if you are still selfish, selfish, and equally proud with your first? And you say that you are a new creation? What does God get the glory of the new creation of this kind?
But what would you see from the Bible are very different. Jesus wanted to get people to watch you and see the quality of your life and give glory to God. The grace of God does not allow you to keep on sinning. The grace of God is that you changed and able to overcome sin. If not, in what ways the Church can again become a light to the world? Consider this: not just is not true that Christians were equivalent to the former situation, but the teaching of Jesus illustrates how different someone was after he became a true Christian. And if you are a true Christian, you should know that.
Is the World saw the power of God's salvation?
Let me tell you a story to you. There is someone who has a lot of meadow gembalaan, then there are a bunch of wolves come in and pilfer gembalaan these fields. The wolves were fond of this land and settled there. Well, these people then find a way to rid the fields of wolves gembalaannya it. After thinking about it, she then took the decision. He gathered a flock of sheep and sent them into the midst of wolves, he hoped in this way he can tame the wolf and push them out so that she could master the field gembalaannya again. In your opinion, what will happen to the sheep when they go into the midst of wolves? Well, the wolves that will encircle the flock and began tearing and devouring them. And after eating some of the sheep, there are some wolves that became docile and very gentle. And many of the wolf that is changing.
How do you rate this story? A very silly story! I never heard this weird thing! That's not the way to deal with wolves. You do not send the sheep into the midst of wolves! Well, that's what was done by Jesus. "See, I am sending you like sheep into the midst of wolves." You might say, "Wow, this is truly extraordinary! What exactly was Jesus doing?" We are so accustomed to just listening to this kalilmat so extraordinary character of these words escape our ears.
Well, if you want to overcome these wolves, the last thing you want to do is send the sheep into their midst. Maybe you'll send some tigers or lions into their midst, instead of sheep. Wolves are wild animals and even a tiger or lion will also be difficulties when dealing with them, because they attack in groups. Leopard even reluctant to get too close to the wolves. So, if the animals have a very strong will to overcome difficulties of wolves, whether sent sheep to a point in their midst? Obviously, judging from the human standpoint this is the most stupid thing that can be done.
Jesus should have said, "I will turn you into a pack of lions." And there will be no more trouble for the lions to deal with wolves. Now, if we can change people into a lion or tiger, I'm sure this is what shall we say, "I will make you the mighty lions and you will circumnavigate the world and conquer it." Has it ever occurred in the human mind relies on to fight a wolf with sheep? Obviously, you would say, "Sent to sheep among wolves tantamount to sending them to the death that's for sure."
What can we understand this teaching? How can we understand this sort of thing? Will it work? According to human calculation, I think you do not need to be a genius to see that this action will fail. Jesus' way of doing things will surely fail! Oh, we're very smart! We feel that we better know a better way: "You can not do it this way. Wait until I intervened. I'm going to deal with it with full force."
Often in the history of the Church, the Church considers itself smarter than Jesus. If you have not learned about the history of the Church, you need to do it at any time. Sometimes it's enough to make you cry. In the midst of the Church, there will always be people who think that he's smarter than Jesus, so according to their estimates. Sorry if I got to say that, but it also is a reminder for myself too so I do not consider themselves too good at this.
Because of our versatility, and we decided to face the world with a sword. We say, "Christian Warriors risen!" Think, if someday we are all Christians rise up as one army, my goodness! There would be no army capable of facing us. We collect all Christians and equip them with machine guns. We will march forward and sweep all the armed services because we are probably number around 100 million people. There was no army capable of facing us. Even if we fight a guerilla war in every country, there would be no army capable of facing us.
And in history, the Church said, "Come, we will fight the enemy with a sword!" And soldiers and then fly the banner of crusading image of the cross, and they go fight in the name of God. Now, we need to forgive people's behavior, they have been negligent. They are not taught by the Word of God. Very many bloody battles that occurred in the name of the cross because of these stupid people who do not understand the teachings of Jesus and then they go to war carelessly and shaming his name! They said, "Impossible! You will not be able to face the wolf with the sheep!" Thus, the sheep, then decided to become a wolf, too, complained fangs and swords. Every time we do not follow Jesus' teachings, we will face problems. But it is very difficult to follow the teachings of Jesus because it's very unlikely! He sent the sheep to fight the wolf. For humans, this is impossible.
Jesus taught us to do things that did not make sense because at the time of sheep conquer the wolf, then for God's glory, not for the sheep. Lion can kill a wolf is not a surprise. The glory that made a lion. Wolves can kill the other wolf is not too surprising. Winning glory for the wolves. However, it can defeat the wolf sheep never happened in human history! And this is what Jesus wanted to do. When the sheep went out and conquered the wolf, every eye will see wide-eyed! If you beat the wolf watch the sheep, I think you'll be wide-eyed awe! You will say, "Impossible! This is only possible with the power of God!" That's the main points of the Gospel.
If we, as a Church, could hit the world as a wolf against wolf, it's not a surprise. If the crusade army could defeat the Muslims, what's so surprising? But if the sheep can not beat a wolf, it's just a miracle! Only in this way we can see what the Lord is doing! We have not yet come to understand that God's plan to conquer the world will run with his power and not by our strength! That's the thing I want to do by Jesus, namely to make the world see the miracle.
Getting devoured by increasing the number of sheep
He will also show other miracles: the more prey will progressively increase the number of sheep. It was witnessed by the Roman Empire. They could not believe what they saw! Jesus sent His disciples to explore the entire empire of Rome which is the world's largest empire at that time with the invincible army. Roman army gained the victory everywhere. The wolf was not defeated by anyone. (Coat of arms of the city of Rome is a picture of a wolf who was nursing a baby.)
And Jesus sent the sheep into the midst of wolves. Roman Empire was able to destroy the sheep. They killed many Christians but miracles continue to happen. More and more sheep (Christians) that they kill, the more increased number of sheep. Then the world saw the miracle! Wolves are subject to the sheep, in the fourth century, Roman emperor, Constantine, handed his sword to the Church and said that the Church has been conquered. Wolves beaten by a sheep! Have you heard things that seajaib? So many wolves are changed by the power of God and become a sheep. The early church never raised a sword against the Roman Empire. However, the Church of the Roman Empire defeat in 300 years time, things can not be achieved by natural enemies of Rome. Is not this something special?
Foolishness of God is more intelligent than human intelligence
Do you think Jesus' teachings were a folly? Hear the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:25. There, he said, "The fool of God is greater than human wisdom." Do you think that God is very silly? Well, his stupidity is far more clever than your intelligence. I rejoice in the Gospel precisely because it is something that was never imagined by humans. The Gospel is something that can not be created by human beings could not have occurred because in the mind of man to do it this way. Not a single human being in this world who want to imagine going to do what God is doing. Not one human being ever dreamed to send the sheep into the midst of wolves to subdue the wolf. If you have eyes to see, then you can see that the gospel is from God, that man will never think like that because he thinks it is impossible to run this. However, this was exactly what God's doing, it is considered as a possible human.
Christians differ from non-Christians as sheep differ from wolves
This is the teaching of Jesus: Christians differ from non-Christians as sheep differ from wolves. But there is a saying that being a Christian just a problem receiving the grace of God. There are no fundamental differences with non-Christians. This is a repudiation of the teachings of Jesus. He said, "Before you is a wolf, but now I have change you: you have become a new man; you have become sheep." There was no explanation is more appropriate to describe this worldly system apart from using the term to describe the wolves.
I do not have time to explain about the society of wolves, but if you read the articles from free of the wolf, you will be amazed at the similarities between human society and the lives of a group of wolves. You will notice that the wolves, just like humans, working in groups. They are not individual beings. They like to cluster, they enjoy being together. Their strength lies in the group. And in this group, there was a wolf who became the leader. How leaders are chosen? He must fight to prove that he is a wolf of the most powerful, most cunning and most aggressive in the group.
Thus we see that it is similar to our society, there is a powerful and something had to be submissive. Well, wolves do not always kill each other. They were joined in their group against another group, just like humans, nation against nation. In all these aspects, they are very similar to the natural man.
But when we've become a Christian, Jesus change our character. From the character of a selfish and aggressive wolf, we transformed into a gentle lamb character and love. We become like the Lamb of God. Jesus is always portrayed as the Lamb of God because He is meek and private self-giving.
Another thing worth noting again is that this change is done by the power of God. You will not be able to change the character of a person without the power of God. That's the glory of the gospel. He did not just tell you to be religious, be good and so forth, but the Gospel tells us that we will be changed by the power of God.
It's easy to send people into good people and friendly, but if it was not his character, he will not be able to do so. Similar to notify an inmate who was in prison, who had robbed and killed, "You're not supposed to melaukan all that." This advice is useless for him. Only if the criminals had changed before she can be a good person. It's useless to give him lots of advice. I knew a criminal in New York. I saw how he was transformed and became a man totally new. If you hear the villain's express testimony, you will say, "Lord, Your ways truly magical! Wolf turned into a sheep!"
But before you can change, you yourself must have a desire for change. There are many people who love the wolf way of life. They love to get around to bite people; it was fun and they enjoy it. If they themselves are bitten, it is clear they do not like it. But there are many people that are very similar to the wolf and comfortable in their wolf nature.
Who can enjoy the state of the sheep? Everyone is stepping on your head. If you have sharp fangs, you will say, "If you bite me, I'll show how sharp taringku. About two inches in length. If you bother me, I'll show my strength." But the sheep, these poor animals can not do anything like that! No. I do not want to be a sheep. There is absolutely no defense! At least as a wolf I had two tusks. If I became a Christian, I will lose taringku! What will happen if I became a sheep? So, we would all like to be a wolf.
Why do we want to change? Do you think that the reason? I find that until we see the glory of God in the flesh of Jesus Christ, we would never want to change. Before I see the charm of Jesus, I am very pleased to be a wolf. But when I saw the Lamb of God in His charm, and when I saw my wolf's face in the mirror, with big fangs and long, sticking out, I really feel ashamed of my fangs. I was so ugly fangs. And I saw how beautiful the Lamb.
Lamb has a great power
Maybe you'll say, "Okay, that sounds good. But we're talking about is not a cosmetic problem. It's a matter of strength." If so, then you still do not understand the power of the Lamb. We will see shortly.
Let us note the remarkable words in Revelation 17:14 which states, "... the Lamb will overcome them ..." We see the power of the Lamb. Did you know the power of the Lamb?
Revelation chapter 17 talks about some very horrible beast, the beast that is very great power. The animals symbolize that terrible countries that are very powerful.