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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

Aug 21, 2016

This is a sermon that we're posting by request. Brother Gill preached it on June 15, 2016. It was the last sermon that he preached before departing from that fellowship. In the times we live, so much is taught in the name of Jesus Christ that is contrary to the very words that He preached. Before His ascension into heaven, He told the disciples, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20a) Since they were instructed to teach us His teachings: What did Jesus teach?

Here are the notes for this sermon:

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What did Jesus Teach?

*The issue is not: “do you like or agree with what I say?” The issue is, “What do the scriptures command?”

  1. Intro
    1. The word “Christian” means “follower of Christ.”
    2. “Disciple” means, “A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another.”
    3. To “follow” means, “to walk after; practice”; or “act in conformity to” that which is being followed.
    4. So, to be a Christian, or disciple of Christ, is to walk after, practice, and act in conformity to the teachings and doctrines of Jesus Christ. You should speak as Jesus spoke, walk as Jesus walked, and believe as Jesus taught: Without exception.
      1. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
      2. In Luke 6:46-49 Jesus said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
    5. This is also repeated in the writings of the Apostles:
      1. 1 Timothy 6:3-4a says, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing,…”
      2. 1 John 2:3-6 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” *Whose Spirit is it that Christians are born of anyways? Cf. (Rom. 8:9)
    6. Knowing that the scriptures set forth this truth, the question we are going to ask is, “What did Jesus teach?”
  2. Are Jesus’ teachings applicable to Christians today?
    1. Some people teach that all, or parts, of Christ’s teachings were not meant to be obeyed by Christians but were part of a previous “dispensation of the law”. Here are some reasons why that is not true:
      1. It contradicts Christ’s own words about when the time of the Law of Moses ended: Christ said in Luke 16:16, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
        1. This verse states very clearly that Christ’s own preaching was not of the Law of Moses, but about the gospel of the kingdom of God.
      2. It contradicts Christ’s commandments to the Apostles as part of the great commission: Christ told them, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
      3. It contradicts Christ’s own teachings. Christ taught that there is nothing that man can eat that can defile Him, which contradicts the Law of Moses.
      4. These three points make clear that what Christ taught throughout His entire earthly ministry was intended for Christians under the new covenant, and all His commandments in all the gospels are still expected to be obeyed TODAY.
  3. How did JESUS preach the Gospel?
    1. In Matthew 4:23 it says, “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
    2. In Matthew 24:14 it says, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
    3. From the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry to the end of it He preached the gospel of the kingdom. He even states here that this gospel of the kingdom would be preached in “all the world” and then would be the end of the world and the return of the Lord.
    4. From Luke 16:16 to Acts 20:25, from Jesus Christ to the apostle Paul decades later it was the same gospel of the kingdom being preached. So how did Christ and the apostles present the gospel?
    5. Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
    6. Mark 1:14-15 says, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
    7. *Notice what is not said.
      1. “Jesus loves you” is not ONCE ever used to draw sinners to Christ. *Give the parachute illustration—the motive of the sinner coming to Christ is of first importance.
      2. “Asking Jesus into your heart” is not ONCE ever said or used to draw sinners to Christ.
      3. Telling people God will fix all their problems is not once used to draw sinners to Christ.
        1. The gospel is not just for the broke down and beaten, drug taking, drunken, poor people of the world. It is for the rich, affluent, happy, cultured, and “intelligent” people also. The issue is over sin, righteousness, and judgement to come.
      4. The Lord said count the cost (which means it costs something to belong to Jesus Christ), He said deny yourself (not love yourself and be who you are), He said if you love father, mother, sister, wife, or your own children more than Him you are not worthy of Him (and He makes very clear in His words to the church at Sardis that you CAN walk worthy of Him, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:4-5))
    8. The gospel is ALWAYS preached commanding the lost to repent.
    9. Many of you may be thinking, “Brother Jonathan, we know that. That’s what we do.” I know that we say it, but it is quite another thing to EXPECT it and UPHOLD it.
  4. How did Jesus teach Repentance?
    1. Turn to Matthew 21:28-31, “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”
    2. Jesus taught that the young man who repented was the one who DID the will of the Father. The Lord taught that that is what will result in entering into the kingdom of God. That is saving repentance.
    3. Some of you may say, “Brother Jonathan, we’re saved by grace through faith and not of works. You’re certainly emphasizing a lot of DOING.”
    4. Yes, but what did Jesus teach about Faith and believing?
  5. How did Jesus teach faith?
    1. John 8:12 says, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
      1. The Lord clearly identifies his followers; which is the definition of a Christian. If we are following Him: we are not walking in darkness. The results are that we shall have the light of life.
    2. Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
      1. How can we say that it is doing the will of God that makes us enter into the kingdom of heaven and also be saved by grace through faith?
    3. Turn to Mark 2:1-5, “And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”
      1. How can Jesus SEE faith: by what they did. (Heb. 11:1; James 2:14-20)
    4. What some may say then is, “Brother Jonathan, no one knows the heart but God alone. So we can’t expect these things all the time.” Is that what Jesus Christ taught?
  6. What did Jesus teach about how you live outwardly and the state of the heart?
    1. Turn to Matthew 12:33-35, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
      1. Men DO that which is in their heart.
    2. Mark 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
    3. Matthew 15:18-20 says, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”
    4. Christ taught saying, “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:43-45)
    5. Some people will then say, seeking to justify themselves, “Brother Jonathan, no one really knows who the true Christians are.” Is that what Jesus taught?
  7. Did Jesus teach that no one knows who the true children of God are?
    1. Turn to Matthew 13:24-30, “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
    2. The average interpretation of this passage says: The field is the church, there are tares and wheat in the church, no one can tell the difference between them, and we have no authority to try to separate them.
      1. The problem with those things is that Jesus Himself interpreted the parable differently.
    3. V. 36-40, “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”
      1. Christ Himself teaches that the field is the world (not the church), it nowhere implies that there are supposed to be tares in the church, Christ says it is when the wheat brought forth fruit that the tares were made apparent, and even the Apostle Paul taught that if any man called himself a Christian and lived in sin the brethren were supposed to separate from him so that he would be ashamed and repent.
      2. Christ said the thing that separated the children of the kingdom from the children of the wicked one was that they brought forth fruit.
      3. John 15 makes very clear that those who are continuing in Christ will bring forth fruit. It is unavoidable.
    4. The same is also confirmed by the words of the Apostle John, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:10)
    5. So Christ and the apostles taught that you can absolutely identify those who are believers.
  8. Some other things that Jesus taught that contradict the average Church-goer’s beliefs:
    1. The world and the believer will be at enmity. John 15:18-19 says, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” And in John 17:14-16, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
      1. Christ said, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” If Christ said the world would hate us, what does that imply about how we speak about it? If the world has your affections then the Lord doesn’t.
    2. In Matthew 5:31-32 Christ said, “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”
      1. Many today teach that it’s okay to remarry after divorce. They that do so set aside the very clear teaching of Jesus Christ. Someone who truly desires to please God doesn’t make excuses for not keeping His commandments, and they don’t make up loopholes to convince themselves otherwise either. Christ is very clear about what He commands.
    3. Christ also taught in Matthew 5:33-37 saying, “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
      1. Oaths under any sort of penalty have been condemned by Christ as being evil.
      2. I will be blunt now: There are people in this very congregation who have taken oaths under penalty of death. When you sat there in secret in your underwear with a bag over your head and a rope around your neck, and when they poked you in the chest and made you give your oath and confess your secrets to them so that they would tell you their “secret doctrine”: did you think you were pleasing Jesus Christ? What communion hath light with darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Belial?
    4. Jesus taught these things after this manner. His followers teach them also. Be careful lest you should put words in the Lord’s mouth that He never said nor intended.
  9. Let’s put them in contrast.
    1. A person who teaches and practices according to the teachings of Jesus Christ witnesses as follows:
      1. When conversing with an unbeliever he speaks of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.
      2. He shows him how he has broken the commandments of God and therefore the wrath of God abides on him. He makes it personal with the man and not general. (“thou art the man” not “all have sinned”)
      3. If the man understands these things and shows conviction of sin and humbleness toward God for his sin then the believer continues on to grace. If the man does not humble himself but seeks to justify himself in self-righteousness then the believer does not offer him grace because God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
      4. The believer continues with the humble man to tell how Christ died for the ungodly to make a sacrifice for sin, and that the man should repent of his sin, put his faith in Jesus Christ, and then do works meet for repentance.
      5. The believer, upon seeing the man confess his sin and cast himself upon Christ after some manner, will expect to see an outward change in the man in a reasonable amount of time. He will encourage him to put away sin and worldliness, give himself wholly to the word of God, earnestly seek the face of God in prayer, and live an outward life of holiness according to the commandments of God.
      6. If the believer does not see a change in the life of the new professing believer to one of holiness and separation from the world then he warns him to change his ways.
      7. If the man does not repent, in accordance with the commandments of scripture, he will bring one or two other Christians with him to encourage the man to repent and live according to the commandments of God.
      8. If the man refuses to repent still, he is taken before the entire congregation and is encouraged to put away sin and worldliness, according to the scriptural standards.
      9. If the man refuses still to put away sin and worldliness then the congregation separates from him and esteems him to be a lost man yet in his sins.
      10. If at any time before this point the man repents and orders his life according to the word of God, he is received again in fellowship and continues to grow in knowledge of the scriptures and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2. A person who teaches and practices according to the teachings of “Church-ianity” goes as follows:
      1. When conversing with an unbeliever the “Church-ian” speaks of the church he attends: how wonderful it is, how nice the people are, how pretty the choir sings, and how he’s been going there since he was five years old. “Church” is the abundance of his heart, not Jesus Christ.
      2. If ever talking to the person about the gospel, and not church, he will speak of sin generally and not specifically or directly. “All men have sinned, everyone knows they’ve sinned against God.”
      3. He will not define sin and make a personal application or appeal to the man. Because of this the man will not be offended, but he will also not know God’s standards or what sin is.
      4. He will not tell him God is angry with him, that the wrath of God abides on him, and that unless he repents he will be cast into Hell justly by God.
      5. He emphasizes that Jesus loves him, or that he has a God shaped whole in his heart, or that God can heal his marriage, help him get sober and clean, or give him peace in his life.
      6. The man is told it is “easy to be saved” and that he must “ask Jesus into his heart”.
      7. He will not be told to count the cost, to take up his own cross and follow Christ, to deny himself, to love God more than anyone else, to expect persecution, that he must keep the commandments of God, that he must endure to the end, and that he must do the will of God from the heart.
      8. So he prays a prayer sincerely: He sincerely wants love in his life, to be happy and satisfied in life, and to enjoy a community of really nice and positive people. Besides, he knows he’s made mistakes in his life before, and God’s probably not happy with everything he’s ever done.
      9. He is told he has been born again, that if God gave him eternal life he could never lose it, because it’s a gift he didn’t earn, and eternal life is eternal right?
      10. He is treated as a Christian, though the only difference in his life is that he comes to a nice building 3 times a week and there enjoys talking with nice people about nice things.
      11. He likes the preacher a lot. He’s a really good speaker; though it’s hard for him to remember sometimes what he was teaching because his mind wanders a lot. All he knows is that he can’t take more than 30 minutes of preaching: he’s got places to be.
      12. He doesn’t read his bible much, if at all. He finds it hard to understand and rather dull. He’d much rather watch the newest movie or TV show that everyone is talking about. He likes “Christian” movies also, because they really stir his emotions and make the bible come alive: even though they tell things very differently than his bible.
      13. He is never called “worldly” or “carnal”, because it’s not loving to do so. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to do all the convicting and negative things, except when the Spirit lays on everyone’s heart to sing. Besides, they can’t judge him. No one knows who the true children of God are: everyone knows that.
      14. He never misses church. Every time the doors are open he’s there. It’s really important to him. He tries to get involved. It’s good to try to make an impact on the community and invite people to church.
      15. But if he ever gets out of church or distracted from spiritual things, he can always console himself with the fact that Jesus loves him, and he will never leave him nor forsake him.
      16. So he thinks to himself, “I will just sit back, relax, and enjoy my salvation.”
  10. In closing, Turn to John 3:20-21:
    1. “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
    2. John 14:21 says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
      1. Don’t console yourself thinking, “Jesus loves me anyways.” These are the words of Jesus Christ, saying, “he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him…”
      2. God loves the whole world, that doesn’t mean the whole world is going to heaven.
    3. Pray
    4. Now with every head up, and every eye looking at me: Are you a Christian? Do you truly follow him, and keep his commandments? Do you teach and uphold His doctrine? Please truly examine yourself, and see if you are in the faith. He is the one to whom you must give account, and he is the one who said you must do the will of the Father to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.