Blessings and Woes of the Christian Life – Part 3 | Luke 6:17-26

YouTube video sermon

Don’t tear others down, build them up!

Introduction

Luke 6:20-26 ESV And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (21) “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. (22) “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! (23) Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. (24) “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. (25) “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. (26) “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

  • I have a problem as a pastor… I am not a crier… I just very rarely cry… sometimes I feel like maybe if I could cry a little bit more when preaching then maybe people would connect more, maybe people would feel more emotion… but I am just not a crier…
    • I got back Thursday night from a 5 day revival in Seattle… and y’all it was so fire, it was so good for me and will be so good for this church…
    • In the revival 4 different pastors were moved to blubbering tears… they were weeping, weeping from joy, weeping because of the power of God, weeping over the sacrifice Pastor Matt and his family made to serve God through Faith and Victory…
      • IT WAS SO POWERFUL… it was SO REAL…
    • But y’all, that’s not me. I don’t cry… I didn’t cry when my grandma died, I didn’t cry when my best friend died, I didn’t cry on my wedding day, or when my kids were born… y’all I didn’t even cry when I watched The Notebook! (Terrible film filled with premarital sex… but sad non-the-less)
    • I am just not a crier…
  • I mean some people seem to cry every time they minister, others cry at every hardship, others cry when overwhelmed with joy… and it’s not that I don’t feel these emotions, it’s not that these emotions are not real to me… I just don’t cry…
  • With that said…

BRING UP TITLE SLIDE

  • … I would like to share with you three things that make me weep.
  • Jesus said this when listing the blessings and woes in Luke chapter 6:

Luke 6:21b ESV … “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

  • And with that blessing He gave this woe to caution those who were listening:

Luke 6:25b ESV … “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

  • What is Jesus saying? Is it somehow a blessing to weep? Is it some how a sin to laugh? Absolutely not!
    • Jesus is NOT saying weeping is a blessing… but what He is saying is this “The Kind of people who weep for my sake… who weep because of the sobering realities of this present world… those are the kinds of people who will be blessed… those are the kinds of people who will enter into eternal joy in heaven”.
    • On the other hand, Jesus explains: “Woe to those of you, who see the wickedness of this world, who see the state of humanity, who see the evils all around us… woe to you who in the reality of this fallen world some how find pleasure in it all… you are the kind of people who will mourn your decisions in the life to come.
  • I believe there are three reasons why every Christian should weep. They are not the ONLY three reasons that one might weep in a goodly way… but they are the three that I experience the most often… the ones that I, a none crier… find myself from time to time in a blubbering mess of tears as I weep.

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I Weep Because of the Suffering of Christ

  • Y’all I weep because of the suffering of Christ…
  • The first reason why I weep… because Christ suffered and died because of my sin! BECAUSE OF ME HE DIED. BECAUSE OF MY SELFISHNESS, MY SIN, MY LUST, MY PRIDE, MY GREED… HE DIED BECAUSE I BROKE GOD’S LAW.
    • Every stripe He took He took for me, and because of me… the nails in His wrists and feet… I might as well have driven them in.
    • The spear through His side… I might as well have thrusted it in…
    • I BROKE THE LAW, I AM GUILTY, HE IS INOCENT… YET HE DIED FOR ME.

Isaiah 53:4-7 ESV Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (5) But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

  • So no man… I don’t weep at stupid movies like The Notebook… but when I watch the Pasion of the Christ… when I watch Jesus being beaten, and mocked, and crucified… that breaks me… because that was for me and because of me…
    • That was for you and because of you…
  • Do you understand that humanity is so wicked that the only way for God to redeem it was for God to suffer and die‽
    • Yeah man… that messes me up.
  • I don’t like calling good Friday good Friday… because it wasn’t good what happened on that day… it wasn’t good that we killed our Lord and Savior… it wasn’t good that our sins lead Christ to the cross… it wasn’t good, the state of humanity, that this was the necessity and climax of God’s love…
  • But what WAS good is that Christ was willing to die for us…
  • What was good was that God loves us so much that He would send His only begotten son to die for us.
  • What was good was what happened on the third day when Christ was raised from the dead.
  • And when I think about the way that God loves us… yeah it makes me cry… that He loved us that much.

We are His portion
And He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking

So heaven meats earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us
Oh how He loves us

  • John 3:16 says this… if you don’t have this verse memorized then what are you doing with your life… get this thing memorized…

John 3:16 ESV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

  • Jesus died because God loved us so much He wanted to be with us. But we had sinned and there is a punishment for sin, eternal death… hell.
    • But God doesn’t want us to go to hell… so God sent His one and only Son to die, to take our punishment, so that we might become righteous and be able to enter into God’s love and life for eternity… heaven. This is what 2 Corinthians 5:21 means…

2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • So I weep when I think about the suffering of Christ. I weep in sorrow because it was my sin that did it to Him… and I weep in joy when I think of how much He loves us to chose to suffer and die for us.
  • And because of all that Christ has done for us, is why I weep for the next reason…

I Weep Because People are Perishing

  • The second reason I weep is because people are perishing.
  • The current statist is that 105 people die every minute… every 60 seconds… 105 people die… nearly 2 people a second…
    • Statisticly, a 3rd of the worlds population claim to be Christians… now assuming that all of those people are true, born again, Christians (which is a lofty assumption) that means that around 61 people die and go to hell every minute… just a little more than one person a second…
      • If that is not a humbling statistic… I don’t know what is.

John 3:3 ESV Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  • But what happens to those who cannot see the kingdom of God? We see in 2 Thessalonians, as well as many other places, what happens:

2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 ESV (5) This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering– (6) since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

  • Y’all the Bible makes it very clear… there are two places someone can go… heaven or hell… there’s nothing else… it’s eternal life, or eternal destruction… it is eternal rest or eternal torment…
  • So no, I didn’t cry when I was 16 and my grandma Ruthie died… because she loved the Lord and obeyed and followed Him… what was there to cry over? She was entering into her rest…
  • And I did not cry when my best friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer at 18 and four weeks later died… because he passionately loved Jesus, and was entering into His rest… if anything I was mad that he got to go to heaven before me.
    • Not that it is sinful to mourn over loved ones lost, not at all, I am just not a crier y’all…
  • But my grandma Marge… she doesn’t know Jesus like I know Him… and she’s not doing well… her health is failing… I don’t know if she will make it till this time next year…
    • And when I think about the fact that she might perish… that she might die forever… God is just… but I don’t want that for her… I don’t want that.
  • When I see the homeless on the street, and think… this guy could starve to death or freeze to death before knowing Christ…
    • When I see the world, worried about such stupid things while they ignore Christ… when I think that every second someone is dying and going to hell… and I am sleeping in… it gets me man…
  • And weeping over the lost in not something unique to me, it is something Jesus did. In Luke 19 Jesus approaches a very lost Jerusalem and He weeps:

Luke 19:41-42 ESV And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, (42) saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

  • Y’all if Jesus is weeping it’s ok for us to weep…
  • You know some modern day preachers are doing there best to erase the reality of hell, they right books and have extravagant theologies… they through out whole portions of scripture… because the emotional burden of thinking of so many perishing is nearly unbearable.
    • And it is… man… it is so hard to think about. BUT GOD IS JUST. AND SIN MUST HAVE A PRICE PAID FOR IT.
    • And what really breaks my heart is that the price has been paid and people turn their back on it… they say “no thanks, Jesus, I will do things my own way”.
      • Just know Jesus… just know Jesus!
    • Paul was so burdened for the lost that he says that he wishes that he could go to hell so they might be saved:

Romans 9:1-3 ESV I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit– (2) that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. (3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

  • I weep because of the suffering of Christ. That He died because of me… and that He died for me..
  • And I weep because people are perishing… because there are people who Christ died for who are rejecting His salvation.
  • And because there are people who are perishing… I weep because the church is divided.

I Weep Because of the Church is Divided

  • The third reason why I weep is because the church is divided.
    • Because the bride of Christ is split into so many divisions.
    • Because the weapon God has given us to fight the enemy is to busy fighting itself to be effective.
    • Because we can’t, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, get along.
      • Literally, For heaven’s sake, for the sake of heaven, we can’t even get along.
    • When we first came to Cedar Rapids we had a passion for street evangelism… a passion I want to rekindle by the way…
      • But we literally had no one coming to church… so we went and fought to led people to Christ…
      • And I won’t go into all the details of this story… but one day I got a call from a local pastor… he asked to have breakfast…
        • I was ecstatic… finally a connection! Finally, something was happen.
        • When I got to the appointment, on time mind you, this pastor was sitting and he had already eaten… which was odd.
        • He said “Have a seat”, then he slide one of our business cards across the table…
        • “Is this yours” he asked?
        • Yup, I said, it sure is… wondering what was going on…
        • He then exploded on me… “Who do you think you are? THIS IS OUR SIDE OF THE CITY! THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE WE ARE TRYING TO GET SAVED. YOU STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE CITY! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO LED THESE PEOPLE TO CHRIST AND YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST WALTZ IN HERE AND TELL THEM ABOUT JESUS‽”
        • He made it very clear that I, and our church, was not welcome in Cedar Rapids, especially “That part” of Cedar Rapids.
        • He scolded me for nearly half an hour… I was young, and shocked, and inexperienced… I didn’t know what to say… so I just apologized as best as I could then I left.
        • I remember getting into my car and just weeping…
      • I just want people to be saved… I wouldn’t even have cared if they went to your church bro, I just want people to get saved…
      • I don’t want people to go to hell…
      • This isn’t a competition between churches… WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM.
    • When I was a youth pastor in North Carolina I had a small youth group. We would from time to time hang out with another church’s youth group to do larger activates…
      • Until the senior pastor of my church forbade me from fellowshipping with that church… why? Because they believed the rapture just might maybe happen during or after the great tribulation.
        • How dare them disagree with a tiny, miniscule bit of theology that the Bible is not explicitly clear on… NOPE NEVER AGAIN!
      • WHAT‽ PEOPLE ARE PERISHING! WHAT ARE WE DOING CHURCH‽
    • Maybe you remember, in February of this year I was weeping at the alter because I was attacked by another pastor in town via email… I was so hurt that such people even existed, that fellow Christians would use such hurtful words to other laborers of the Gospel. I feel lead to read a very small part of that hurtful email to you…

“You may have picked up on this already but I’m going to say it anyway.  I am offended by you.  I am offended that you call yourself a pastor.  A good friend of mine, who is an amazing man of God and pastor of a healthy church, once said  “some men are called to be a pastor, others just want to be called a pastor”.  You sir are the latter.  I will continue to pray for you daily.  That the Lord convicts you of the ridiculous manner in which you pervert His Holy Scripture.  I will pray that you find repentance.  I will pray that those who attend the church you speak at aren’t misled and miss the calling the Lord has for their lives.   I will pray for them to see the light of Christ in their lives and run to it, for safety’s sake.”

  • Y’all this pastor didn’t just attack me, he attacked you… saying you were mislead, that you had not seen the light, that you are missing the calling of the Lord by being in this church.
    • Man I would never ever say that to another pastor… even pastors outside of the truth.
      • I never attacked this man, I never spoke poorly of him behind his back or to his face… he just disagreed with how I interpreted two different scriptures.
      • Not scriptures about salvation, or God, or the Holy Spirt…
      • I said “Hey man I love you, it’s ok that we disagree, we can still serve the King side by side…” and this is how he responded.
    • I can’t believe that there are Christians like this. And what hurts the worst is that… man, his church preaches Christ. This is my brother in Christ treating me like this.
    • It’s one thing when the world attacks… but for your brother in Christ to attack you like this. It makes me weep… not for my sake but for the CHURCHES SAKE! For the Bride of Christ’s sake.
  • You notice I don’t mention these pastors name… even when I quote famous pastors who are preaching heresy I quote their words but I don’t tell you who said them… why?
    • Because these are men who love God and who are preaching the Gospel… and just because they have bad theology doesn’t mean they are not a part of the same bride I am.
    • I don’t want you to think bad of pastors… I want you to think bad of bad theology.
      • The only time I will mention a pastor by name is when he or she has completely gone of the rails and is deny Christ, the Gospel, or the Word of God… and even then I would only say it if saying so would bear fruit in our church.
    • MAN I JUST DON’T SEE ANY GOOD FRUIT IN TEARING DOWN OTHER BELIEVERS, CHURCHS, OR PASTORS. I just don’t.
  • Just… as I close this point down… just think about Paul’s words while he was in prison… while he was in chains…

Philippians 1:15-18 ESV (15) Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. (16) The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. (17) The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. (18) What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

  • Just grasp this for a minute church. Paul is in prison for preaching Christ Jesus to the people. A prison sentence that will eventually lead to his execution…
    • And there are other pastors who are MOCKING him from their pulpit… preaching against Paul and saying it was Paul’s fault that he was arrested…
    • And Paul says “I PRAISE GOD FOR THOSE PREACHERS… BECAUSE EVEN IN THEIR HATE OF ME… AT LEAST THEY ARE PREACHING CHRIST”.
    • LORD LET ME HAVE THAT HEART.

Conclusion

Luke 6:21b ESV … “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

Luke 6:25b ESV … “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

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