God’s People and Your Responsibility
By Bobby Blakey on May 31, 2015
1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
God’s People and Your Responsibility
By Bobby Blakey on May 31, 2015
1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:01] When I was growing up, there was something the kids would do with their hands. They would do this thing where they put their hands together and they'd say, here's the church, here's the steeple, open the doors, see all the people, I was not very good with the crazy fingers. But you know, the part I'm talking about, I.
[00:00:20] What's something that kids can understand, that churches about people is often something that we lose? We refer that we're going to church. What we talk about is maybe the building that we're go into, the building, that church over there, that building, or maybe today when you said you were going to church, you thought about this service that we're in right now, this time of worship and preaching. And so we refer to church as a structure, as a program that we're going to. But let's not forget what church really is. Churches, the people that Jesus Christ died for, it's what he too he shed his blood for. On that cross to redeem them from their sins and to give them a new life. Look around at the people around you.
[00:01:01] That's who the church is right there, the church of Jesus Christ.
[00:01:05] And so sometimes we need to remind ourselves what church is really all about and we need to see the people and so turn being a First Thessalonians Chapter five. Grab your Bible and let's go to First Thessalonians. If you've been here at our church, we've been going through this book ever since we started back in September. And we're coming now to the very end here, the last few verses. First Thessalonians, chapter five, verse 12 is what we're looking at today. This is our 25th time. We've opened up to First Thessalonians to learn from God's word together. And we're getting some practical instruction now at the end. He's just kind of throwing out some quick commands, some things that he wants to make sure that they're doing there at the church. And he hits a lot of different topics real quickly. And so over the next few weeks, we're gonna see different commands that Paul gives to this church. And remember why we're going through this book. This book was a brand new church. They hadn't been around very long. Paul didn't spend a lot of time with them. They were newly acquainted with each other. And yet there was something powerful that was happening at this church. I mean, the word of the Lord was echoing. It was ringing out. It was going forth from them so that everybody in that area knew these people love Jesus Christ.
[00:02:24] They knew that these people had turned from a life of sin to God and that they were now waiting for Jesus to come back and get them from heaven and deliver them from the wrath to come.
[00:02:35] That was the reputation these people had. This was an exciting church to be a part of a brand new baby church that was blowing up. And that's what we're hoping God's gonna do here among us. And so that's why we're trying to learn from this book. So read with me First Thessalonians, Chapter five, starting in verse twelve.
[00:02:52] We're gonna go to verse fifteen and get into that this morning as we ask you brothers to respect those who labor among you and our over you in the Lord and admonish you and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you brothers, admonish the idol, encourage the faint hearted. Help the weak. Be patient with them all. See that no one repays any one evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
[00:03:35] So we got four versus here that are all about the relationships that we are going to have here at the church that are going to re prioritize re focus us that the church is about people. And so we're going to see kind of two main points as we break down this text. And so look with me at verse twelve. The first group we're gonna start talking about here are the leaders of the church. It says, respect those. We're gonna we're gonna see people as leaders among us, those who labor among you, those who are over you in the Lord and those who admonish you.
[00:04:08] What are we going to think about these leaders that are among us? What we're going to esteem them very highly. We're gonna see them as leaders. We're gonna esteem them very highly in love because of their work. So when you look at the word respect, let's just break down the verbs here, the commands, what we're called to do in verse twelve when it says respect. That's the basic Greek word to see.
[00:04:32] You've got to see some people among us. They have a unique role that God's given them among the church. And we need to see them in a special way. And then when you see a steam there in verse 13, the other kind of command here, this, it says to esteem them. That means you see them as a leader.
[00:04:50] So there's gonna be some people among the church that we're going to have to recognize. We're gonna have to hold up in our minds is that's one of the people who's leading here among us. And it says even that we're supposed to love these people, that we would have a relationship with the leaders here at our church.
[00:05:05] So for point number one, let's just jump right into it here. Point number one, you need to see your need for spiritual leaders. Every Christian is supposed to have spiritual leaders, people who are above them in the faith, who are maybe older than them, more mature than them in the faith, who are passing on what they know about Jesus Christ to them, who are instructing them from the word of God. This is the way Jesus designed the church to work. You can't read the New Testament without meeting these guys called pastors. In fact, there's even books first and second, Timothy and Titus that we would call the pastoral epistles. They're all about who should be a pastor and how they should do their job. There's clearly leaders that every Christian is supposed to have in the church be the Hebrews Chapter 13. Grab your Bible. Work a few pages over to the right to the book of Hebrews, Chapter 13 on page 1009. If you got one of our Bibles. And here we come to the end of the Book of Hebrews and you'll notice this in a lot of letters in the New Testament. When you get to the end of the book, you just start getting these rapid fire commands. Here's just a bunch of things we want to make sure you guys are doing as we write you this letter. And so we see the same exact thing in Hebrews 13. It's tough to outline it because it's just like all these quick little ideas of what we're supposed to do as God's people. And a couple of times, this idea of spiritual leadership comes up like Hebrews, Chapter 13, verse seven, Hebrews Chapter 13, verse seven. And remember, this is set in the form of a command. It says, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you, the word of God, consider the outcome of their way of life. Think about how they lived.
[00:06:52] Were they a good example to you? And if they were, imitate their faith. So you're supposed to think about your leaders, consider them and maybe even follow their example. Jump down to verse 17, Hebrews Chapter 13, verse 17. Here's another command for Christian people.
[00:07:12] It says, Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. I mean, this is pretty clear language here that we're supposed to obey and submit to leaders. What kind of leaders is it talking about? Is it talking about President Obama? Is that who it's referring to here? Well, it defines the leaders as those keeping watch over your souls. Is President Obama keeping watch over your soul, my friend? So what kind of leaders keep watch over your souls? Bosses at work. Parents sit at home. Husbands over over. Wives know that the person it's talking about here is a person, a church, a pastor. Someone who's praying over you, someone who's speaking the word of God to you. Someone who cares about your eternal destiny and how you're doing in your walk with Jesus Christ. Every Christian is commanded to have these spiritual leaders in their life. And I mean, a lot of people who are trying to figure out Christianity for themself. Let's just talk about that for a minute. A lot of people who are like, I got my Bible, I pray I got the Holy Spirit. That's all I need to figure out the Christian life. Well, actually, when the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible, he said you needed spiritual leaders. That's actually how he said you should do it. Nobody's supposed to be this free agent, rogue, figuring it out for yourself, Christian. Now, I'd much rather have you figure it out for yourself than not figure it out at all. But as you figure out Christianity, you should realize I need people to teach me.
[00:08:49] And I should willingly go to these people, and if I think they're the real leader, the real deal, if I think if I consider their way of life and I think, you know, this guy, he's really saying what the Bible says. This guy should listen to him than I willingly submit to this leader and I follow their leadership. This is how it's supposed to work in an era of church hopping, in an era of everybody kind of picking what they want. Picking a leader and sticking to him.
[00:09:14] I could be a tough thing even in the church these days, but that's what it's saying to you, to you to do. And I know you're thinking right now. Well, this is a very self-serving sermon for you. Pastor. You're really loving this, aren't you? Right now, we're supposed to love you. You were supposed to obey you. Wow. You know, isn't this nice? You've been waiting to preach this one for a long time, haven't you? I know. I know. Maybe that's what you're thinking. But the truth is, being a pastor is a very serious responsibility. It's not something to mess around with.
[00:09:45] I think the Bible has a warning description that not many people should be teachers because they will incur a stricter judgment.
[00:09:54] All right.
[00:09:55] So it's a difficult job if you want to be a pastor. There's a warning to you as to whether you should really even do it or not.
[00:10:04] Go back to First Thessalonians and it's even going to describe. And you guys can hold me accountable to this. You can hold all of our spiritual leaders to this. Go back to First Thessalonians and it's going to give like a job description. It's gonna give us three things about who this leader should be. And I definitely am here to to be the pastor of this church. I mean, let's just let's just have it out there.
[00:10:28] I'm definitely here. I think the whole reason I moved here tomorrow will be one year, June 1st, since my family moved up here to Huntington Beach. And we move we got a house here and we started live in here. And the whole reason we came to Huntington Beach was one purpose only. That was to see God plant this church and to serve here, to serve all of you guys, to get to know you guys. And what a year it has been in the life of the Blakey family.
[00:10:51] It's just been amazing. It's been beyond anything that we could ask or think hasn't all been easy. But it's but it's been awesome to see God work here among us.
[00:11:01] Let me just say what I said on the first Sunday. I feel like maybe it might be good to say again, I moved here because God put it on my heart to do one thing, which is be the pastor of this church.
[00:11:11] That's my entire purpose. In my whole life has to be the pastor of this church. I'm not here because I want to be a pastor, not here because I want to be a preacher. I'm here because I want to be the pastor here.
[00:11:23] The preacher here.
[00:11:25] And I'm committed to being here. I mean, one year and I'm ready to sign up for another year. I'm good. In fact, I've committed to being here for decades. Is the goal at least 10 years of being the pastor here? I'd like to die in Huntington Beach with some of you beautiful people. Maybe we'll even do like a pack, a cool paddle out into the middle of the water with the surfboards.
[00:11:44] I don't know what will happen, but that's what I would like to do that I mean, this is my entire life is committed to this church, to you if you're a part of this church. I'm here to serve you. That's the point. That's the reason God created.
[00:11:58] That's why I'm here.
[00:12:00] And I preached on this before some of you can remember that, in fact, grab your bulletin and flip it over to the back because you'll see one of the distinctives of our church distinctive number seven is that you want. This is what we want here at the church. This is what I hope you will look to, is authentic and sacrificial leaders. Now, hopefully I'm preaching this sermon here today to you, but hopefully this is a person, a sermon I've already preached to myself. In fact, you don't want a pastor who preaches a sermon. He hasn't already preached to himself. You don't want to hypocrite Pastor. Do you not want a guy who's fake on Sunday saying a bunch of things that make you feel good? But then the rest of the week he's doing something else and not really caring about what you're doing. You don't want one of those guys. There's plenty of them out there. But no, we want people who are real, who are genuine, who are practicing what they preach, and the only reason they even feel like they can preach it is because they practice it. And so we're looking for authentic and sacrificial leaders. And we talked about once this was way back at Marena High School, if anybody was there, how pastors live in a fishbowl. Right. Everybody examines them. Everybody evaluates them. People are like they always feel bad for the pastor's wife because everybody's watching.
[00:13:07] Watch out for those pastor's kids. Oh, did you see what the pastors get? Did a church. They don't talk about the other kids, but the pastor's gay. They go after him, right?
[00:13:14] Well, we're happy to live in the fishbowl. Me and my family, because that's where the fish are. And we came here to be fishers of men. We came here to see God save many people. And I preached on that. And I said, hey, I'd like to be your pastor. That's what I came here for. If you would have me, I would be honored. It would be a privilege for me to serve you. And I got to meet some people here who were like, OK, we're gonna sign up. We want you to be our pastor. One of those guys is my good friend right here. You if you've come to the nine o'clock service, you've heard him. He's co preaching with me. It's Carl Skar right here. And you heard Carl. He's interjecting.
[00:13:45] I love it. I love it. And I invited Carl over to my fishbowl house and I said, Hey, man, come on over. Let's get to know each other. And he shows up, he and his wife, Lynn. And guess what? They've got in their hands as a gift coming over to the pastor's house, a fish bowl.
[00:13:58] And guess how many fish it has in it? Five people for the five Blakey. Right. And we're like, this is the cutest gift ever. Right. And we sat there and we looked at those fish and we fed those fish and we named those fish and we watched every one of those fish die.
[00:14:16] You ever had that experience before? Know? That's what I'm here to do. That's exactly as agreed. That's a great thank you call. That great analogy. That's what we're here to do.
[00:14:28] We are here to give our lives away. We're here to serve. Let's look at what the job description here is in First Thessalonians, Chapter five, three things that it says about these spiritual leaders. And actually, before we even get into that. Let me just say somebody else that this could apply to, because in nowhere in our passage does it say the pastor specifically. It doesn't mention that position or that official kind of job, as we think of it. It just talks about those who labor among you. These three things, labor among you are over you in the Lord and admonish you. And the truth is, look at this room, even how many people we have here, we got more people coming next service with as many people as God's bringing to our church. I can't talk to every single person in a personal, loving, caring way. I can't keep up to date with everybody's latest prayer requests and pray for everybody here in the in the innermost detail and the secret ness of their hearts that everybody here really needs.
[00:15:27] There's no one man who can shepherd all of God's people, even at a small church like ours. And so what we've got is we've got a team of 16 other couples that we've deacon ised here at this church that are small group leaders who are doing all of the things that it describes here, working hard. Speaking of scripture, and they're having some level of spiritual authority where they're here to serve you, to give their lives for you.
[00:15:52] There's a lot of great examples here at the church, if you go to any one of our small groups. You've seen one of these people in action and hopefully you've seen that these people don't act like they're the boss. They act like they're here to serve everybody else. That's what true leaders at the church do.
[00:16:07] So we've got a lot of people like this here at the church. There's a lot of people that you could look up to. In fact, here's what's super encouraging to me. Maybe one of the most encouraging things that I'll always remember about the first year of this church is calling some of the other guys who are doing work. Guys who are the cycling people. I mean, we got men here at this church who are literally meeting with someone every day of the week to take them through our partners program where evangelize somebody.
[00:16:33] We've got people who have spent hours making this building ready to go. We've got people who work hard. And I talk to them on the phone and I go to breakfast with them and we encourage one another. And I walk away, I hang up the phone and I think, you know, I might be the pastor. I might be to get the guy who's got the title or the role here. But that man is just as into this church as I am. He's just as into serving the Lord Jesus Christ as I am. Look at how God's working through that guy. We've got people like that here at this church. So there are many people that you could look up to that could be a spiritual leader to you.
[00:17:05] And here's how you should identify them. Here's how you should find them. Let's break these things down. It says those who labor among you in verse twelve, those who labor among you that that were there for labor, it means to work hard. My friends, in fact, we saw some of this go back to Chapter two, verses eight and nine, and you'll see how hard Paul was working as he was a leader to these people, as if versus the unions. Chapter two, verse eight. He says, so being affectionately desirous of you, loving you. We were ready to share with you not only the gospel, we didn't just come to preach to you, but also our own selves.
[00:17:43] He says literally, I'm here to share my soul with you. Because you would become very dear to us, for you remember, brothers are labor and toil.
[00:17:54] We worked night and day 24 seven that we might not be a burden to any of you while we proclaim to you the gospel of God. So here it says those who labor among you. That's talking about growing weary with work. That's talking about being worn down. The word labor here is very intensive. Let's get we got some dashes there under point number one. Let's say serving.
[00:18:21] That's what our leaders are here to do. Our leaders are here to sweat for there to be tears, for there to be blood and for it to be poured out for the people of this church. That's what real leaders do. Real leaders don't act like they're here to be served. Real leaders come to serve. That's how our Lord Jesus Christ was. He didn't come to sir, but he came to serve and to give his life away as a ransom for many. Real leaders are going to work very hard here at the church.
[00:18:51] And that's something that people have even said to me, being the pastor here for the first year when I always have this nagging cough, that's been a theme here for us. Right. And people are so concerned. You work too hard here at this church. And I can understand what you're saying. I appreciate the concern. Right. And I need to play in times of rest days off vacations with my family. I appreciate that encouragement. But the truth is, when you're a pastor, when you're working with people, you don't really get to decide how much you work.
[00:19:21] It's not like you just can clock out when somebody is in the hospital. You can't just go home and relax when some Sonsoles marriage is falling apart and they're calling you in the evening time.
[00:19:33] I mean, we're here to serve people, and if people need help, then that means it's go time. We don't get to figure out how it's all going to work nicely. It's kind of like we said this a long time ago when we talked about how Paul ministered to them like a mother and a father. Those were two different sermons that we did here at this church, had a minister like a mother and two minister, like a father. And if you were here back then, if you remember that we said there's a big difference between daycare and mom care. Right? I mean, daycare, those people, I think they really care about their kids. They do their best, but they're there for one reason. They're getting paid to be there. And at the end of the day, they go home and the kids, not their problem. Is mom getting paid to be there. Is there any time where the kid is not mom's problem? If we're going to love people in a familial way, like people are more important than ourselves, then we don't get to decide when people need to be served. We're here to serve them whenever they need it. That's how it's supposed to be. That's how everybody in the church is supposed to be, to have this here to serve mentality like a mom who continues to deprive herself of sleep so that she can serve her babies, so that she can serve her kids. Can I get a name, Aymen, from any moms that there's no days off from being a mom?
[00:20:49] Right. That's how it is here at the church. These are people, these are relationships. We can't have times where we're out of touch from the people saying we have to serve one another.
[00:21:01] So it's going to be labor. It's going to be intensive. It's going to be hard work. In fact, that's the kind of leader you should be looking for. That's the leader you want, someone who's going all out.
[00:21:11] Now, this next phrase might rub you the wrong way at first. It says those who are over you in the Lord. Those who are over you. And that sound like kind of sound authoritative. That might kind of sound like they think they're better than you, but that's not how the Bible describes it at all. Joining me first, Peter, Chapter five, turn over a little bit to the right here and we're getting into what the spiritual leader looks like. And let me just tell you, if I don't look like this person that we're looking up here in the Bible, if you're small group doesn't look your small group leader doesn't look like this person. Then stop coming to this church. Stop, go into that small group. Go find somebody who matches the description of the Bible, OK? There's a lot of bad pastors out there. There might be hypocrite pastors who have burned you, who have rubbed you the wrong way in the past. Let me promise you this. God will always provide leaders to continue building the Church of Jesus Christ. They're out there. There's men who are doing what God wants them to do and keep searching until you find them and then follow those people. And it says here in First Peter five, here's what they're going to look like. It says, So I exhort the elders among you and elders, pastors, overseers, bishops. That's all the same guy. Three different words to describe the same person in the church. So I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that's going to be revealed, this awesome revelation of Jesus that's coming. Here's what pastors are supposed to do. Leaders are supposed to shepherd the flock of God. That is among you exercising oversight. Case when we think about somebody who's over you in the Lord. Well, here's how the Bible describes what they're doing. They're shepherding. That's our second little dash here. We're looking for someone who's serving. And then we're looking for someone who's shepherding. So you might not mind having somebody who's over you as much as we don't like that kind of authoritative language here in America. You might not mind having someone who's over you if what they're really doing is loving you and caring for you and keeping you on the right path and making sure you're well-fed and protected. That's what a shepherd does for the sheep.
[00:23:18] And here's how it says they should do it. They should be shepherding the flock of God. That is among you exercising oversight, not under compulsion, not because they have to, but willingly because they want to, as God would have you, not for shameful gain nation. Be in it for the money. No, they should be doing it eagerly. They'd be doing it if they even if they weren't getting paid because they because they're so passionate for it. Not domineering over those in your charge. Not some. Some tough rules. Some tough love from the top.
[00:23:48] No, they're being examples to the flock. They're not asking anybody else to do something they're not willing to do themselves.
[00:23:54] And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the unfailing crown of glory. The chief shepherd, who's the chief shepherd? Jesus Christ.
[00:24:06] You might not like the tone of how this message is going, why do I have to have somebody over me and the Lord? I don't like the fact that someone's going to have spiritual authority over me. That might rub you the wrong way.
[00:24:16] Well, as a sinner, it kind of rubs you the wrong way that there would be somebody who's the lord of the universe, that there would be somebody who's the king of all kings, that there would be somebody who gets to decree whatever he wants and he does whatever he pleases and whatever he says to do, you have to obey him. And you might think you don't want that person until you realize it's Jesus Christ and you want nobody but Jesus to run your life.
[00:24:39] And that's what these men are supposed to do. They're supposed to represent Jesus Christ to his people. They're never going to be perfect. They're never going to be 100 percent Jesus. But they're doing their best to shepherd the people. As the chief shepherd, the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep, watches over his people and no one snatches them out of Jesus his hand. That's what the pastor's trying to do. So you want somebody who's serving. You want somebody who's shepherding. Go back to First Thessalonians five. And it says one more thing that these spiritual leaders are supposed to be doing here among us. And make sure your spiritual leader is doing this. Whoever is going to be over you, it says it doesn't. This sound pleasant, does it? I love this part. That's my favorite part. You're thinking to yourself and at Monash, you do you see that there are the sweet refreshment of being admonished every Sunday morning. Is that how you wake up in the morning? Oh, I hope today's sermon just cuts me straight to the heart. I hope it exposes my biggest hurts and my most prominent failures. Is that. Is that how you come in here thinking. There's nothing like a good admonishment to get the day going? Not on the weekends. You know, what I look forward to is just a real dressing down spiritually, a real warning, a real instruction from the. That's what this word means. It's the word nuf the tail is the word we most commonly associated with counseling.
[00:25:59] Right. That someone's going to take the word of God and they're going to bring it straight to you. And when the Bible wants an analogy for the word of God coming to your heart, it describes it as a sword piercing to your innermost secret thoughts. That's what it's going to be like. So the person who's a spiritual leader, they're going to say things that sometimes they're going to wound you and sometimes they're going to heal you. They're gonna say whatever this book says straight, they're gonna cut it straight. Now, how they feel about it, not their own personal opinion of it. They just say what God says in the book.
[00:26:34] Very important for you to have that in spiritual leader. Let's get that down for our third little thing you knew was going to start with S.. At this point, speaking the word of God, these leaders better be speaking the word of God.
[00:26:45] They better be preaching it. If they're the pastor, they better be Santa in the small group. If you're going to one of those groups during the week, they better not be espousing their own personal opinion or their own emotions about the matter. They better be saying what God says, nothing more and nothing less. That's what the standard that leaders are held to.
[00:27:05] And you got to have somebody who's doing that. And if you've got a history of going to church and you think the point of the message at church is to make you feel good. That's not what the Bible says. Turn with me in a second. Timothy chapter for Second Timothy, Chapter four.
[00:27:21] This is just a few pages over to the right from First Thessalonians. This is Paul writing to his true disciple whose son in the faith, Timothy, who is a pastor, and Paul is instructing him, disabling him on how to be a pastor. And a big part of being a pastor is preaching the word of God. And look at how Paul writes to Timothy about preaching. Here's what pastors are supposed to do when they preach.
[00:27:46] Second, Timothy, chapter four, verse one. I charge you in the presence of God. That's pretty serious when you take it to the heavenly throne room. But he's saying picture yourself in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus. We looked at that last week in the Book of Revelation. Picture yourself there where everybody's shouting Holy, holy, holy Jesus. Who is to judge the living and the dead? And by his appearing and by his kingdom, I charge you by the most serious things that we can think of. The return and reign of Jesus Christ. Preach the word.
[00:28:19] Be ready in season and out of season. Now look at these words that he uses here. Reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching for the time is coming. And you guys can tell me if you think it's here or not. The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. Teachers to tell them what they want to hear. And they'll turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
[00:28:55] Now, notice the three words that it says, We preach the word in season and out of season, underline these words, circle these words. This is what a sermon is supposed to do. It's supposed to reprove, rebuke and exhort. Those are three words we don't use very much in English because they don't feel good. Only one of them sounds remotely OK.
[00:29:15] Exhort sounds like something that maybe I could use from time to time. Reproof, rebuke. No, thank you. Please. Right. That's what I'm supposed to do with you guys every Sunday morning. That's what it's telling me right here. That's what a pastor is supposed to do.
[00:29:31] So if you can come to church and always feel good, that's a bad church. The feel good church is a bad church because you should come to church. And if they're doing what they're supposed to do, sometimes it's going to feel like you're being reproved. Like you're being corrected. Like the way that you're going. Is it right. And so you're being directed to go another way. Sometimes it's going to feel like you're being rebuked, like you're just being called out and you're going to sit there and you're going to think. Is he preaching straight to me? Are there other people around? Is everybody else noticing this? This is feeling really awkward for me. That's what you're getting called out and you're getting exhausted. And hopefully the pastors doing it not in a condescending way, but in a coming alongside of way to build you up, to encourage you to offer you hope moving forward. But that's what it says a pastor supposed to do, reprove rebuke and exhort. And so sometimes when you come here and you feel stung by the scripture, you feel cut open by the sword. That is the word of God. Hey, that's a great thing. That's a good day at church. In fact, you'll probably become one of these hardcore gospel preaching, Bible believing people who, when the sermon gets really intense, they walk out with that extra big smile on their face. You know, those people, some of you guys are those people, right?
[00:30:44] Well, that was good. It was intense today. I liked it. All right.
[00:30:49] Where did you come from? Right. I'll tell you, it came from the Bible has changed you from the inside out to where now? At first it rubbed you the wrong way, but now you can't get enough of it. See, that's what scripture does.
[00:31:04] That's what good preaching does. That's what your spiritual leaders are supposed to do. Make sure you've got a pastor who loves you enough to tell you the truth about yourself.
[00:31:14] Rehearing the Bible is not always going to feel good, but it is going to be good to see and there's a big difference there.
[00:31:21] The big difference between what feels good to us and what is good to us. And God knows best. And the message of the scripture, delivered straight from God's word to the people, will never return void. And though it may hurt you, it will heal you. My friend. So do not heart in your heart to what the Bible says. Somebody preaches a message and it rubs you the wrong way.
[00:31:44] That might have just been a good message in God's eyes. And we need to embrace that. But it's not just the pastor who can do this in a sermon. Go to Romans, Chapter 15.
[00:31:55] Go to Romans Chapter 15. And you'll see that sometimes you're annoying. Christian friend will stab you in the heart. Have you ever noticed that before? I mean, the world's full of people who will stab you in the back and they'll talk. They'll say one thing to your face. And one thing behind your back. But then there's that small group leader of yours. They'll just say it straight to your face. What's up with that person? You know? I mean, they'll they'll say even it to the whole group. They're at your small group. And you'll be like, whoa, this just got edgy. They're really calling us out. If you ever had one of those awkward moments when you're like this person's actually talking about real things. Oh, what's going on? Look at Romans 15 for everybody in the church can admonish one another. It says it says it like this. It says, I myself am satisfied about you. Here's what Paul thought about this church in Rome. These Christian people, my brothers. I'm satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness. That must be the power of the spirit in their life, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. That's our same word. Able to admonish one another, to counsel one another. So the pastor isn't the only person who can admonish, you know, other leaders in the church. They can use the scripture. They can speak it straight to you. And it can do its work in your life to convict you of sin and to instruct you in righteousness and praise God. We're at a church that doesn't just have Bible in the name, but it's got Bible coming out of the lips of the people. Is that a good thing? Praise the Lord that this has happened in here at our church.
[00:33:26] And let's pray that it keeps happening.
[00:33:28] And maybe there's people here this morning who aren't small group leaders yet who will be who aren't pastors yet, who will be and God will speak his word through you. We need a lot more people who aren't ashamed to tell it like it really is from the Bible.
[00:33:42] That's what we need if we're going to see a revival here in Huntington Beach. We're gonna see great things from God. We need to hear the words that come straight from God. You make sure that you've got somebody who you can follow. You're commanded to see somebody as a leader in your life and to love them to make their job a joy. And this person here's what you're looking for, somebody who's serving where you get the feeling that you're more important than they are somebody who's shepherding. They're caring about you like Jesus Christ cares about you, somebody who's speaking the word of God, somebody who will tell it to you like it is whether you want to hear it or not. They're not afraid to rub you the wrong way, if that's what God says in the word, if you've got one of these people that keep following them. And if I'm not this person, if your small group leader isn't this person, this is an open deal here. Come and call us out. Come and tell us we're not who we're supposed to be. Anybody here can come and talk to any leader here at this church because that's what we're here to do and we better be doing it or God's not going to be please. And he's not going to continue to grow the church. So make sure you have a leader like this. Go back to First Thessalonians, Chapter five. I'm not recommending that you would have a leader like this. God is commanding you to have a leader like this. And if you've never really had a relationship where you could say, that's my pastor, that's my small group leader. God would love for you to have that. Maybe even here at this church with us. Maybe some of you guys will be like, wow, I don't really know. The pastor hit me up. Let's get together. Let's get lunch. Maybe some of you guys will be like, I don't really have a small group leader working with me in a close personal way. Maybe you need to go to a home fellowship group. This week we got Minthorn at the CompassHB Connect Table after the service. He'll get you plugged into a group. Go talk to him if you're not a part of one of these groups. Now, it goes on, though, to not just talk about our leaders, but to talk about how we should treat one another. Look at verse 14 says we urge you brothers entering another section here. We urge you, brothers. Look at all these rapid fire commands. Admonish the idol. Encourage the faint hearted. Help the weak.
[00:35:49] Be patient with them all and make sure no one's repaying anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
[00:35:59] So, I mean, it starts right away with here's some rapid fire commands. When it says admonished the aisle that idle, that's the same word counsel. The unruly counsel is disorderly. Are there people there in the church who aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing? Are they idle? Are they not active in good works? Well, you should probably talk to them in that spirit of gentleness, of course, in a very loving way. But if you know somebody here at this church and they're checked out and they're not running for Jesus Christ and they're not obeying him, then you're called here.
[00:36:30] It says, to admonish the idle. You speak to the. There is no such thing as knowing somebody is insane. Seeing that somebody is losing their love for Jesus Christ and watching it happen. No, you have to love that person enough to open your mouth and speak to them.
[00:36:46] That's a command here. Then it says encourage the faint hearted. And this is kind of a flip side of that. The word for encourage here is a very sensitive word, meaning to speak kindly and the faint hearted.
[00:36:59] If you could write in your notes or write in your Bible right next to faint hearted. Literally, the Greek word means little soul.
[00:37:06] That's what it means. Little soul, someone who's having a hard time trusting Jesus, someone who's looking at this whole thing that we're talking about to obey Jesus Christ.
[00:37:14] And while it's so daunting to them, that almost seems like mission impossible. What we're saying to the. And they're just they just want to believe great things about God, but they're having such a hard time with little faith. And we need to come alongside those people. We need to build them up. We need to speak kindly to them. We need to be very careful about the things that we would say that they want crush them or or it won't make them feel like we're condescending to them or like we're expecting something from them that they can't do. No, we come and we speak to them in such a gentle and loving way. That's what it's talking about here. And some people, you might have to say it and you might have to say it straight and hard. Some people you're going to have to come to them and you're going to treat them totally differently. You're gonna beat you're just gonna be so sensitive with them.
[00:37:57] So gentle and then it says you're going to help the weak. This is like to hold firmly to support those without power, this might have a real physical connotation. Somebody is having a brutal time financially. Somebody is really struggling physically with their body, even going through the motions of the day without severe pain. And it's what can you do to support this person, to hold them up during their time of weakness? We're identifying needs of people among us. And we're here to meet those needs. Now, this isn't now talking about me. This isn't now talking about the spiritual leaders. No, we're talking about the brothers. I mean, it's going to say in verse 15 here, the one another's we're talking about a see the people look around.
[00:38:37] Who are you admonishing? Who are you encouraging? Who are you helping? This is a call for all of us to be involved in what's going on here at church. These aren't just other people at church. These are God's people here at this church. And you've got to see God's people as your people. Let's get this down for point number two. Everybody here, we need to see all of God's people as your people, all of them.
[00:39:03] We don't get to choose which God's people we like, just like we don't get to choose our brothers or sisters. Do you have some brothers or sisters that you like more than your other brothers and sisters? Don't answer that out loud. Don't ever say that to anyone. We'll get back to them. It will cause drama. Right. But you might have one brother that's an a little easier for you to roll with than your other brother.
[00:39:24] You can just agree with me internally right now. Right. Right. I mean, some you just hit it off with and some it's a little bit tougher.
[00:39:33] Does it say any idea here that there would be any kind of person that would be off limits of your love to the.
[00:39:42] Now, maybe when I say people who have a hard time doing what God says, disobedient, faint hearted people who feel like they have little faith or weak people who are just it's they feel like they're without power to really live life. Maybe you immediately identify with one of those people. Yeah, I'm a little unruly. I'm a little bit I'm kind of edgy, you know, or maybe you're like, yeah. And I try to do things and I get anxious. I get worried. I just my heart's not very strong in the Lord or. Yeah, I'm going through some real physical pain. My family right now, finances are brutal at my house right now. Maybe you identify with one of those people. Man, let me just tell you something God doesn't want you to do. Only roll with the people who are like you. He doesn't want you to do that.
[00:40:25] He doesn't want all the unruly people hanging out. He doesn't want all the faint hearted people hanging out.
[00:40:30] He doesn't want all the weak people doing, hey, we've got a weak person, small group over here now and all the idle people. Why don't you guys all go hang out over here? No, he wants us all together.
[00:40:40] See? There's no such thing as personality compatibility in the Church of Jesus Christ. No, you're my brother. You're my sister, and I'm going to love you to the end. That's how we roll here. I don't choose you. God chose you. And if God chose you, that's good enough for me. So what is it? Where you at? I'm going to figure out where you're at. And I'm going to love you. And if that sounds brutal, if that sounds difficult, that's why it says this right here. Have patience with them all. Do you see that part? Stings a little bit, doesn't it? Right there. Right. I mean, we all know that when our order doesn't get right through the drive through, we have a little bit of impatience.
[00:41:20] And I get the Amen from anybody on that. Right. And that's the reason we went through the drive thru, was we were in a hurry. That's the reason we talked to the box instead of a human being. And why did you ask me for a hot sauce three times? And I told, you know, all three times and I can't even find my food. Underneath all this hot sauce.
[00:41:35] All right. And now I'm feeling like I've got a little hot sauce going on. Right.
[00:41:40] Because I've stopped to think about that person who's serving me as a person, I've dehumanized them. And now they're more of a machine. They're a robot. To me, they're a person who is supposed to do something that was supposed to be for me. And they didn't do it the way that I liked. Now I'm judging them in my heart.
[00:41:57] When we do that all the time with people at church, why are you still having that same problem? Didn't we already talk about this? We look down on people like people are supposed to be perfect. Have you met the perfect person yet? People are in process, see everybody here. Needs patience. They need people to come alongside of them and bear their burdens because they've still got a few steps to go, and who are we to think that we're further along than them? And why can't they speed up and catch up to our pace? How dare we think something like that? Here it's saying go to their pace. That's what I'd say.
[00:42:37] Be patient with them.
[00:42:39] Go to second Peter, Chapter three, this is one of the things we've we've learned here at this church is that God is patient with us. One of the attributes we've really done a whole sermon on, I don't know if you were here that day, but one thing we we we learned as we were getting into our whole time on eschatology is we really looked at how God treats us. Why hasn't the judgment come? Why hasn't Jesus established his reign?
[00:43:03] Well, second, Peter three nine tells us the reason says the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness. No. He's patient toward you.
[00:43:14] God. Good thing God didn't send Jesus back to judge the world because he was waiting for you. He was long suffering with you because he didn't want you to perish. He wanted you to reach what? Repentance.
[00:43:28] And that's something we praise God for here at this church, we said, isn't it awesome? We spent all Sunday talking about this. Isn't it awesome that the judgment hasn't come yet because God has a long Fuze and he's willing to suffer with sinners longer so that some of them would be saved? In fact, he would desire that all of them would reach repentance and that no one would perish. Look at the patients have got. How long did you sin in God's face before he saved your soul?
[00:43:54] Man remember his patients and now go and treat other people the same way. Are we glad that God didn't give up on us because we weren't responding to him fast enough? So this same patience that God has demonstrated to each and every one of us. Just count the days before you were saved, when you were a sinner destined for wrath, and because of the patience of God, he saved you. You put up with you that entire time and the least we could do is put up with one another.
[00:44:26] For just a little while longer, while we help each other grow and encourage one another here at this church.
[00:44:32] Then we talk a lot about this. This has been a theme in First Thessalonians. This was the theme of a whole season of our church. We talked about the church is a family through with, you know, Matthew, Chapter five. Everybody go to Matthew, Chapter five. I want you to see something that Jesus has to say about how we're supposed to treat one another in the church coming straight from Jesus, starting in Matthew five, verse 46. And one of the things that I've heard people say at our church, through our small groups, through the feedback that we get on the sermons, is how in the world I see all these people there on Sunday and maybe I even go to a fellowship group and I'm trying to get to know some people. But I have my own family. I've got my own spouse, my own kids, my own brothers and sisters, my own parents. I've got this extended network of friends that I've grown up with.
[00:45:21] I got a lot of other relationships already in my life. How am I supposed to love more people at church? And then you're telling me I'm supposed to love the people at church, like my own family, like my closest other relationships. These people I don't even know these strangers at church. I'm supposed to start treating them like that.
[00:45:44] Well, I already love my family. I already love my friends. You know what you're really saying there? When you say that I already love the people who love me. That's what you're saying. Do you have room in your heart to love people who don't love you back? That's the question, that's what Jesus says here in Matthew, chapter five, verse 46, for if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? Don't even people who are just completely consumed with selfishness?
[00:46:15] Scratch the back of the person who scratches their back in a reciprocal relationship where you do something for me and I give back to you. That's how the world works. That's not how the church works. First 47, and if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing then others don't, even the Gentiles don't, even the people who don't know God do that. You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect as here's how God is. Jump back up the verse 43. You have heard that it was said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
[00:46:46] But I say to you, hey, love everybody, including your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
[00:46:53] That's what sons of your father who is in heaven do for God, the Father in Heaven.
[00:46:58] He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good. He sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Gods offer of love is available to everyone. Is your offer of love available to everyone, or is your love cup already filled up, my friend?
[00:47:13] You've already got all the relationships that you can love.
[00:47:16] Or are you ready to meet more people to meet him here at this church, to get to know them and whether their idol, faint hearted, weak, whoever they may be? And you're going to love them like a brother or a sister, even though you didn't come from the same physical father and mother. You came from the spiritual father in heaven.
[00:47:35] You're his sons and his daughters. This is how it is.
[00:47:40] Can we love expecting nothing in return? That's the real question. And go back to our passage in First Thessalonians Chapter five, because it's going to even step on more toes. I mean, the idol, the faint hearted, the weak. They sound like people that could use some help. They sound like people. Yeah, I understand why those people need to need somebody to encourage them. But what about these people? Look what it says in verse fifteen. Let's just take it to the worst case scenario. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil. This is verse as lenience 515.
[00:48:13] Don't even if someone does something evil to you, don't repay them with evil. Always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Now, when it says always seek to do good to one another, what group of people are we talking about here?
[00:48:29] The church people.
[00:48:31] So when it brought up this idea of repay evil for evil, you might have thought, yeah, maybe those people out there in the world persecuting us Christians, let's not be mean back to them.
[00:48:40] No, it's talking about what if somebody, a church, does something evil to, you know, if you guys realize this, but people at church sometimes do very evil things to other people at churches. Anybody ever heard about this before?
[00:48:53] Oh, you've personally experienced this before, perhaps. Right. I mean, what's the response when somebody's evil does this, when somebody does something evil to someone at church?
[00:49:04] Here's the typical response that I've seen working with American Christians here in Orange County. I leave the church.
[00:49:10] That's what I did. Somebody does something to me that wasn't right, that I didn't like.
[00:49:16] They looked at me funny or they talked bad about me behind my back, or they said something about my kids that I can't believe they said, or they put themselves in a position over me and and condescended to me.
[00:49:27] And I'm out. That's what a lot of people do. I didn't like what you did. So I'm leaving.
[00:49:34] There's a lot of that going on and there's no problem with me. As I walk out the back door of the church, my pointing fingers are out, my guns are blazing because you people are the problem, not me.
[00:49:44] Lot of that going on in church today. Stand right here. Even if somebody here at this church doesn't treat you the way that they should. They don't show you the love of God. Hey, here's one thing you've got to do. Don't respond with evil to evil.
[00:49:58] You're not in control of what other people do to you, but you are in 100 percent control of your response to those people. And I'm here to tell you, if you're gonna be a part of us, have CompassHB Bible Church and I'm going to be your pastor and the leaders here are going to be your leaders. Let me just promise you this. Somebody at this church is gonna wrong you, my friend. Somebody at this church is gonna do something to you that is sin before the holy God. And I want to apologize for it. Now, that's not why we're here. But I want to encourage you when they do that.
[00:50:26] How will you respond to that? What will you do? Back? It says, don't repay anyone evil for evil always.
[00:50:36] There's only one response that I would have towards any other person here in this room, and then it even broadens it to everyone, no matter what someone is going to do to me. Here's what I'm always seeking to do to someone else. Good. That's the only way I think about other people.
[00:50:51] I don't think about people that I want to do something evil to them.
[00:50:55] I don't I always seek to do good. Good. Romans Chapter 12. And you'll see this similar idea in Romans Chapter twelve where it talks about vengeance is mine. Say, if the Lord is not for you and me to try to make things right, it's God's job to make things right. And just because we haven't seen him do it yet. Trust me, when God makes things right, he's going to do a 100 percent perfect job of making things right, of judging things and making sure everybody gets what's coming to them. But we're not supposed to do that.
[00:51:26] It says the same thing here in Romans, chapter twelve, verse 17.
[00:51:30] Look at it with me.
[00:51:33] It says, repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable on the side of all if possible. So far as it depends on you live peaceably with all, be at peace with everyone, no matter what so-and-so is doing to me, from my perspective, I'm doing everything I can to build the love bridge with them and to be at peace with them. I will not add to the hostility if they want to start something. I'm not going to finish it.
[00:52:03] I'm going to be at peace with them.
[00:52:06] I mean, it might not always be possible to get the peace between the two people, but it is always possible to be at peace. From your side of the problems.
[00:52:16] And so then it says verse 19, here's an encouragement, beloved. Never avenge yourselves. Revenge is something we should never think about. Leave it to the wrath of God for it is written. Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord to the contrary. If your enemy is hungry, feed him and you have a problem with somebody at church. Here's an idea. Take him out to dinner. If he is thirsty. Hey, get him a coffee. Bring it to him at the 9:00 service, some people in here could use it. Give him something to drink. For by so doing, you will heat burning coals on his head. Now we're not. That doesn't mean we're doing this in a Nina, Nina, Nina. I'm a better Christian than you. Kind of a kind of an attitude. Or doing it sincerely. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome one evil with good. You think some people are going to roll into this church and mistreat people here? Wouldn't it be amazing if those people mistreating people at church got responded to by love from other people at church?
[00:53:11] That would be different. That would be awesome. That's what we're called to do. Somebody here wrongs, you do everything you can to make it right with that person.
[00:53:23] Now, I know when we got up this morning and we said I'm going to church. We were talking about coming here and I know the reason that we all came here at nine o'clock or some of us more like nine 15. The reason we rolled in here this morning, right, was because we're having a service.
[00:53:37] So I understand what we mean when we say that church is a building or that church is a service. But let us never forget who is the church?
[00:53:45] My friends. We are. You are. I am.
[00:53:50] We are the church of Jesus Christ. Let's never go to church. And let's let's let's always see the people. That's what church is all about.
[00:53:59] I mean, we've been talking about some intense stuff, we've been talking about judgment when Jesus is going to come back and he's going to separate everyone into two categories in Matthew 25, it talks about this judgment and it says he's going to separate them as the sheep from the goats. Everybody's going to be divided into these two groups.
[00:54:19] And Jesus is going to look at the sheep over here, his people, and he's going to say, let me tell you why you guys are a part of the sheep. Because when I was in the hospital and I was sick, you came to visit me when I was in prison. You came and ministered to me when I was hungry. You gave me something to drink. When I was naked, you clothed me. Wow. All the things that you guys did for me. That's why you're here with me now. And these people, the sheep, us, the righteous people, we're going to look at Jesus Christ and we're gonna say to him, Jesus, when did we ever see you in the hospital? When did we ever give you some day? I mean, can you imagine that, my friends, if Jesus was in the hospital, how many visitors would he have?
[00:55:05] Jesus is going in for surgery every we got it. You get that, you get that prayer request. You think you're gonna go see Jesus in the hospital, that you're gonna take a number with all the other Christians? Well, he died for me. The least I could do is visit him in the hospital. Right. Can you imagine if you got an email and it's like a Jesus his surgeries done. He's back home. Hey, he wants to bring Jesus a meal. Can you imagine me like that? We would break the Internet, sign up for those meals. Right. What meal would you bring? Jesus Christ.
[00:55:32] You would you would pick the best meal there is. You wouldn't be using like some. Let's just check test this recipe on this. So insults. You know what I mean. You'd be use it. The famous recipe passed down from generations. Right. You'd be using your your tried and true or for some of you. You'd be going and buying great food at a restaurant. You know what I mean?
[00:55:52] I mean, if Jesus needed a meal, if Jesus was in the hospital, what if I told you. Hey guys, special guest here this morning, special guest from a land far, far away. He'll be in the donuts and coffee room after the service. Make sure that you see him, your lord and savior, the one who died so that you might live the coming king and the reigning lord. He'll be over there having a donut and drinking some coffee. Go and greet him after the service. My friends, you have a chance to greet Jesus here today. Would there be a line out the door? Would everyone go to greet Jesus?
[00:56:28] There's going to be somebody in that room today who's new, who no knows. Nobody here who's going to walk up to them like that's Jesus Christ. Because when you love the stranger, when you love the least, peezy says. That's when you love me. Well, tell me you love Jesus Christ and you're a Christian. If you can't love his people. That's the criteria. That's what he's looking for. He's looking to we love the least of these who at this church do you love? Who knows that you love the. That's what we're here to do. We're here to form a relationship where we really love one another.
[00:57:08] If you're in the hospital, we'll come and see you. And if you need meals, we'll bring you some awesome meals. And if you are over here and you need to be treated well, I hope that today, right after the service, there's somebody there to greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That's Matthew, Chapter 25, where the king answers them in verse 40. And he says, truly, I say to you as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers. We pray that this would happen here at CompassHB Bible Church, Huntington Beach. We pray that we would love people here at this church, that you would break our hearts from our selfishness, from our pride. From our own schedules. From our own money. Got an A.. You would give us such a spirit of generosity. You would give us such a flexibility with our own our own time management to always put other people first. God put unite us together, give us relationships, teach us how to love one another, and let us prove that we are your disciples by our love for one another. God, I pray that the leaders would be setting this tone. God, and if there's anybody in leadership of this church who's not the person described here in our passage today, God, I pray that you will remove them from leadership. And God, I pray that you would bring more pastors and more leaders to this church, that this church can continue to grow in the name of Jesus Christ. God, I pray for every one of us who would call this our church home, that we would claim the name of Jesus here today. And we would love one another, that we would look at the least of the brothers and Sisters of Christ. And we would treat them as if they were our lord and savior himself. Pouring out our lives, offering our best. Getting to know strangers in the name of Jesus, God, make us these people. Let us do what your word says, convict us, rebuke us, reprove us, exhort us and encourage us. God. In this work, we pray this in Jesus name.
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