Posts Tagged ‘ Rebuke ’

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 2


I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post last week, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 3: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – His Rebukes

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how did Jesus confront each of them?

Jesus clearly took issue with everyone:

  • Pagan Romans did not know what they worshiped, but they believed this life was worth leaving behind.
    • He called out their sinfulness and incorrect worship.
    • Matthew 16:18 may have taken place at one of the “Gates of Hell” popular with pagans and Jews alike
      • Jesus’ Church would prevail over death and pagan beliefs, meaning the Roman idea that death was preferable to life is directly refuted.
    • Likewise, when the Canaanite woman pleads with Jesus in Matthew 15 to heal her daughter, Jesus rebukes her that He came for the faithful.
      • Her humility in accepting that she is outside of the nation of Israel is a rebuke to Roman ideas that you can believe whatever you want. It is those who believe in Christ alone that find peace and eternal life.
  • The Divided leadership:
    • Pharisees – Were simultaneously too strict and not strict enough in their interpretations.
      • See Matthew 23.
      • See Matthew 5-7
    • Sadducees – Denied everything Christ was about while using His Scriptures.
      • Just about anything Jesus ever said to the Sadducees was a rebuke.
      • They can be included in Matthew 5-7 and 23.
    • Essenes – Largely cut themselves off from society instead of interacting with it to change it.
      • See Matthew 28:18-20
    • Zealots – Took devotion to the wrong extremes.
      • See John 18:36
    • Look at Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-22 – Jesus clears the Temple Courts
      • This was a handy rebuke of all of them:
        • The Sadducees most obviously allowed selling to happen in the courts
        • The Pharisees either allowed it and/or promoted it
        • The Essenes essentially ignored it
        • The Zealots liked Jesus’ actions, of course, but they were so focused on fighting off the pagans while neglecting the House of God
  • Read the Seven Letters from Revelation 2-3:
    • Notice the similarities of the churches with the leadership in Jesus’ time
    • Notice similarities to today’s churches

VerseD: Titus 3:10

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
Titus 3:10, ESV

Some people only want to cause trouble. They gossip, demean, and mock, all in the guise of “prayer” and “accountability”.

Tell them stop, and if they refuse to listen avoid them (even to the point of kicking them out of the congregation).

VerseD: Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20, NASB

The Lord seeks relationship with us, but He calls us to repent and allow Him to change our lives to be passionate against sin and for Him.

VerseD: Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17, ESV

We learn from each other, so do not give up meeting for church or groups. Encourage each other, rebuke each other, and share truth with each other. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

VerseD: Proverbs 27:5-6

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 27:5‭-‬6 ESV

It hurts more finding out others did not want to hurt your feelings rather than spare you difficulty and pain by correcting you.

Nip sin in the bud. Confront it in love, with gentleness, and sooner rather than later.

It hurts less than consequences.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 08/04/2013

Remember to get your daily dose of wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

About a month ago I wrote … an open letter to the Western Church.

When I wrote this poem, I was beginning to see how some of the teachers I was following were distorting the gospel of Christ. They made rules not found in the Bible or took supposing or contextual promises from the Bible, and they presented these as the truth.

Many of these were “Prosperity Gospel” teachers. Some of them were rogue teachers with no affiliation to any denomination or particular creed.

Sadly, I found many of these teachings floating throughout much of the Church in America as I travelled across it that year.

(Thankfully, I have found many solid teachers, those who are not ashamed to admit they might be wrong yet humble enough to trust those who have come before in Church history!)

It was also around this time I read Isaiah 28 …

 

woe to the church (Isaiah 28)

do and do

do and do

rule on rule

rule on rule

a little here

a little there

our priests and preachers

cause many to stumble

they become injured

captured in sin and snared

you preach of victory

you have talked with death

nothing can harm you

death would never dare

for you made a lie a haven

in your agreement with hell

you have taken falsehood

and made it your lair

 

it is time

it is time

enough is enough

no more of this

a call to fight

a call to prayer

life has left the church

but our Lord is earnest

He has not forgotten

He knows our despair

return to the King

return to our Savior

repent of all the lies

give up all earthly cares

return to our Lord

give to Him our lives

those who return to God

their souls will be spared

An Open Rebuke…Er… Letter to the Western Church

Please seek wisdom, and find some at Proverbial Thought!

An Open Rebuke…Er… Letter to the Western Church

As of late, there have been many decisions and laws, legislations and rulings coming from our government – at the local through the federal levels – organizations, and churches, upsetting many people across this nation and across political, ideological, and theological lines.

This is to be expected.

What should also be expected is that the Church would rise to the aid of all who feel oppressed, attacked, left behind, and disenfranchised.

What I have been hearing and reading on TV, online, in newspapers and magazines, and from acquaintances and friends is that “those people deserve what’s coming,” “they are all wicked,” and “I want nothing to do with those people.”

I also have been hearing and reading people say “Why should I care about what those deviants think is happening to them?” Or “I do not want to be seen as supporting [their ideas/their lifestyle/their habits/their theology].”

These comments are usually closely connected or followed by thoughts along the lines of”they have to get their act together and come to Christ!”

I am not saying we should never disagree. I am not saying we should condone willful sin and moral ambiguity or deviancy.

However, when all we do is worry about what others will think of us for being associated with “them” (whoever and whomever that may be), and all they are able to hear is “God does not love you” based on our words and actions, then the Church is largely failing to follow the example of Christ.

Our Lord was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34) and for condoning sin (Luke 15:1-2), all for associating with such people.

How about we stop squabbling about our rights and freedoms as much and reach out in love to those with whom we disagree and see as sinners?

How about we stop telling everyone firstly that they are evil, but instead they are loved?

How about we stop excluding others, and we invite them to learn the joys of the love of God?

How about we stop making people change before coming to Christ, and instead simply show them that the love of Christ changes lives?

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

Galatians 5:1-6 (ESV)

Thank you, brothers and sisters, who love like Jesus!