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WELCOME to the        CORNERSTONE                   INDEPENDENT                               CHURCH                       A Non-denominational,                               Bible Based,                             Online Ministry

           The Gospels in Harmony            Sermon #171  Posted 10/10/18

Matthew 8:18-22   Luke 9:57-62
The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #171-10718

 

18  Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
19  And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
20  And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Matthew 8:18-22
57  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60   Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:57-62
     
     So often we read the scriptures and distance ourselves from the true meaning. We view the characters described as poor lost souls who just didn't get it. They came face to face with the Son of God and chose to deny Him one way or another. They were given the cold hard facts about themselves and their lives and what they should be doing and they turned away. They came up short of salvation simply because they did not give themselves for the glory of God.
      We have a horrifying tendency to look down our noses at the people in our Bibles who were recorded for our good. They may or may not have given themselves at a later date but we only know of a particular exchange that was recorded between them and Jesus.
      Remember Nicodemus? He came and questioned Jesus in private and by his answers we would certainly believe he just didn't get it! But later, we find Nicodemus became a believer and a servant of the Lord.
      So as we read these verses we must first cast off our self righteous opinions of the souls who are being written about.
How do we do that? Humble ourselves to look at our own lives and actions and words to honestly compare ourselves with the lesson that is being taught in these recorded words. Not our opinion of ourselves compared to those who have been written about.
      Application of the Word is how we are washed of sin in our lives. Not just reading them and understanding what someone else did wrong. It's easy to point your finger at someone for something they did or for not understanding what they needed to do. But remember, when you point one of your fingers at someone there are three more of your own fingers pointing back at you!  
     Now, as we begin with our sermon text this fine Lords day, we must immediately put ourselves in place of this certain man. Why?
Because if you claim to be a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ you have already or should have already said exactly the same thing to Jesus.
19  And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Matthew 8:19
57  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Luke 9:57
      Have you given yourself to Jesus? Have you believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior?
Have you made a commitment to follow in the footsteps of our Lord or was that a promise that you have forgotten, wish to modify or didn't really mean? No if you are a blood bought, born again, Spirit filled, child of God; you have uttered these same words one way or another.
     If you have studied the Word of God and prayed for understanding and the wisdom to apply God's Word to your life, you will know the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit in you and by experiencing that truth.
 20  And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Matthew 8:20
58  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Luke 9:58
      A true disciple, minister and evangelist of the Gospel of Jesus denies themselves of many worldly wants and gratefully and graciously except less to give more. Comforts come spiritually before they are enjoyed physically.
The world and it's ruler of course have this in reverse.

21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.                                                   

22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Matthew 8:21-22
59  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
 60   Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:59-60
      Notice our text says --another of his disciples---- This gives credence to the fact that young disciples or early un-learned disciples do not fully understand what they are called to become. Many people today are under the false impression because of false teaching. They believe they can say a sinner’s prayer, go through the motions of baptism and they have their get out of hell pass or their ticket for the bus to heaven! Nothing else needs to be done, although it would be wonderful, but it is not necessary. No sir, you've stated you believe in God and that's all you need to do to be saved.
Bologna!
    You are no more saved than the most blatant denier of Christ!
You gave nothing but lip service in front of a few men and gave up nothing in your life that proves your will and desire to be a disciple of Jesus. A momentary heart awakening is not a resurrection in repentance unto faith and committed obedience!
    Or perhaps you did understand that you must be willing to give up your life for Christ but you wish to put that on hold for awhile. There are still many things you want to do and see before you become dedicated to study and prayer and a ministry and evangelism.
Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Matthew 8:21
But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Luke 9:59
     This disciple was asking to postpone his dedication to the following in the footsteps of Christ. The Bible does not say the father was already dead and needed immediate burial attention. No, it gives us an example of an excuse.
This disciple wanted to be committed when it fit his schedule.
Take a long hard look at your commitment and service to our Lord! Is it full time or part time or set aside for some other time?
    Jesus told this disciple:
Follow me;
Matthew 8:22
Follow me.
Luke 9:59
    He didn't say; "Catch up when you can or whenever it fits your schedule."
No, He said "Follow Me" that means lay down your life for Him, now, in total commitment.
-------and let the dead bury their dead.
Matthew 8:22
60   Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:60
     This is a hard saying but it needs to be understood in the context of dead in sin and alive in grace through faith.
Jesus is telling this new disciple that people who do not follow in His footsteps are not alive in and with Him. They may have a religion that says they believe in God but it is the god they have created to fit their life style; their wants and needs. They are deaf and blind to the truth of repentance unto faith and are spiritually dead. Therefore, Jesus is saying,---"Let the dead bury the dead," you "Follow Me" and preach life everlasting in faith and obedience. Live a life of resurrection and preach life in and through Me!
Why be so concerned with traditions when there are lives to be saved with the truth of the presence of the kingdom of God?
  61  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luke 9:61
     Why bid your family goodbye to follow Christ? Should they not be your first mission field? Should they not be praising God and even willing to follow with you? The thought here is that one member of a household has dedicated themselves to Jesus but the rest have not. Why return to the people and place that has kept you away from the truth. Why look at them as your father and mother and sisters and brothers? Your real family is in Christ. They need your presence and commitment and encouragement. Your worldly family will draw you away from that if they are not saved.
     Also we notice there was no time limited stated for this young disciples’ absence. He did not say how long it would take to say his goodbyes. When a person is saved by grace truth faith they are instantly sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit begins to work in and through that person, changing the way they think. Changing their desires and wants and needs.
Learning the Word of God becomes a need to feed and preaching the Word of God becomes passion. There is little else that matters except reaching out to the lost and feeding the sheep. Absence from ones commitment, even for short periods of time give way to little or no commitment at all.
     I have been an appointed minister and evangelist for over 8 years. I taught the Word of God for several years before that. Before that I studied and prayed to know and grow in Christ Jesus. From the moment I gave my life to Jesus I began to look forward to the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. (ref Phil 3:13).
     I never went to anyone to say goodbye because of that calling. I rose to become a disciple of Jesus and for that there need be no apologies or sorrow toward our relation in this world. It should be a joyous time of praise and thanks giving in unity. Families should be supportive and willing to suffer your absence from them with the knowledge of being joined in faith as one in Christ.
     Every person who truly gives their life to Jesus is called to rise above this world to serve our Lord and Savior, full time. Looking back is, desiring to hold on to the old while claiming the new. It is keeping what we thought was important and needed along side of what we have learned is necessary.
     I'm not saying you must throw away all ties with your family and neither is Jesus. What I am saying is Christ comes first. Your commitment and dedication are not complete without your focus being on serving our Lord and savior for the glory of God at all times.
34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:34-38  
     There are followers and then there are disciples.
The best way to explain this is; disciples are also followers. Following a leader willingly and with devoted attention and action is being a disciple. Anything else is a make believe, want to be. Discipleship is following in the footsteps of Christ to be as close and like Him as you can be. Following is the action that must accompany the devotion. Without it there will be no ministry and evangelism for the glory of God. There is no answering of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    They will be the ones who fall away when things get tough or when they are challenged or criticized for their beliefs. They are the ones who give the appearance of holiness when in sight of the holy but bow to un-holiness when they think they are not being seen. They are the ones that think they are saved and that is good enough. Let someone else be the minister and the evangelist. They are the ones who profess being a Christian but confess to little more than not wanting to go to hell.
      Putting ones hand to the plough is a description of a farmer who has with all intent set his self in the direction of working the soil and planting the seed for an abundant harvest. But to look back while working forward, leads to crooked rows and shallow work. It takes dedication and commitment to work the soil of this world and plant the seed of the Gospel in that good soil for a harvest of thirty, sixty and one hundred fold.
      Looking back is a way of describing the weekend warriors. They may be very dedicated to church attendance on Sunday but they go right back to blending in with all of the un-holiness in this world the rest of the week. No one would ever guess they even went to church, or that they could or would preach the Gospel to a stranger let alone a friend or relative.
       They are by the very words of Jesus, not fit for the kingdom of God!
This gives us a very clear view of how God sees us in our walk with and for Christ our Lord and savior. In this parable it is what we do not do that shows what we really are.
       If we do not cast off everything that keeps us from a full time commitment of serving our Lord for the glory of God, we are not fit to be called Christians. We may call ourselves followers but we are not disciples, ministers or evangelists filled with the Spirit of truth, answering the upward call of God.
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14
     I hold my hands on the plough and look straight ahead with the intent of planting the seed of the Gospel in the Good ground that is prepared to receive it.
      My dear brethren, being a dedicated servant is not difficult. If you read these sermons and are gaining and growing by the truth that is in them, then you can send them to someone else to read and gain and grow through the truth that is written in them. Reach out to the world around you. Become the farmer with the focus and the intent of working in the field and planting the seed.
     I must draw your attention to a very simple fact. Nowhere does it say that the farmer first must build his own plow. No it says that he sets his hand to the plough. This ministry is a plough. These sermons are the blade on the plough that cut through the hard hearts that the seed of truth in the Word of God can take root. The plough is ready for you to put your hand to it. These sermons are free and available for you to read and help in your studies and even for you to pass on as a way to begin your own ministry.
     Not everyone is called to write sermons but we are all called to spread the good news of the Gospel in the Holy Word of God. When Paul wrote letters to the churches the intent was for them to be read and passed on to other churches in the area, that all would be able to understand faith and obedience to the Word of God. The faithful and obedient to the truth of the Word would read them and pass them on for the benefit of all.
     Now is the best time to dedicate your life to Christ with the purpose of passing the truth of the Gospel to as many in this world as you can. Be a part of the kingdom of God by spreading the truth of His Word.
Bless you in all that you do in the service of our Lord. AMEN!

 

Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church
10/7/18

 

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