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Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth Mt. 10:34 - 11:1

July 5, 2015 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 10:34–11:1

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34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

37“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

11:1 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.

These are some of the most startling words out of Jesus mouth ever to be recorded.

730 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah gave us some names for Him who was to come.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Prince of Peace. The Prince of Peace said, to His disciples, the words I just read to you.

34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Did the angels in Luke 2 get it wrong when they sang; Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, Peace, good will to men.

That was how the authorized version said it, and how I memorized it after many years of hearing my grandfather read that story on Christmas eve.

The modern translaters stick a little bit closer to the original languages intent though. The NASB says; "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." Some of the others say; "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men of good will."

There is that caveat in the original language that peace is available, but only for those men whom God is at a state of good will with.

It isn't a general peace. It is a peace with men that God is at peace with.

That caveat then, becomes huge. Because this book, the Bible, is about Peace lost, in the first few pages, then peace regained over a 6,000 year history of God interacting with and revealing Himself to men.

Satan is the ruler of this world and the people in it. There will never be peace as long as that is the case. The sword Jesus talks about here is the battle of God against Satan. Of good against evil. Of those who belong to God against those who belong to Satan.

Peace with God is only possible when sin is removed. Men are born into sin. All have sinned. They love their sin. It's a miracle, and not a small one, a notable miracle, any time men and women will walk away from this world and it's sin, because they deem a relationship with God . . better. Better than anything this world can offer.

In 1922 Rhea Miller wrote a poem that has become famous to many of us. She was a friend of Bev Shea's mother and left the poem on their piano. George Beverly Shea wrote music for it, and if you've ever watched a Billy Graham crusade, you've probably heard it. He sang it to us for 60 years.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
Refrain:
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

Which brings up the question; Just how much would you value Jesus? What if swords become an issue? What if real cost becomes an issue? What if peace . . . with this world . . becomes an issue?

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but before that peace is possible, on this earth, there's going to be a blood bath. He's coming to re-take this world from Satan, but it's going to get ugly before that is completed.

Rev. 14:19 - 20 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. 20And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

The Prince of Peace says; 34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

There will be a thousand year reign of Peace on earth with Jesus on the throne of David in Jerusalem. He will be the Prince of Peace. But not until He cleanses the earth with His sword.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we're here on this timeline to peace. Many of us look around and believe we're just knocking on the door of the 7 year tribulation period.

You can read the history books of how we got here. All the blood that was shed over Jesus in history past. All of the martyr's who lost their lives bringing us the authorized version of the Bible.

All of the Puritans who either died by the sword or were imprisoned by the sword because they believed the book that the martyr's bought with their blood.

How they sailed to a new land where they could worship without the sword hanging over them. How they drafted a constitution that held those liberties first and higher above any other liberties in order to keep this world's wicked swords in check.

How that lasted against the onslaught of evil for 240 years until evil finally battered it to pieces.

Everything changed last week. Evil is back in the driver's seat. And you're thinking, Jim, you're crying wolf wolf when no wolf has come. You're an alarmist. I'm saying evil is in the driver's seat and we're just waiting to see where evil goes.

When you can get the government so broken that any law from here on out is going to get made by whatever evil you can convince 5 people to vote for, the republic is dead.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what will we lazy soft christians be willing to pay in order to, like the song says, have Jesus. Because that same sword that slaughtered the old christians that brought us our book, is back.

That sort of brings us up to date with where we're at on the time line of this book. It's normal for christians to be slaughtered. America, for 240 years out of 5,000 + was the anomaly, not the norm.

What will you pay in order to "have" Jesus. That's what our passage this morning is about. It's a wake up call. Jesus is re-affirming that until that final blood bath of the tribulation when Satan is incarcerated and this world is re-taken by Jesus, anytime preceeding that . . all bets are off. There is war between this world, and citizens of the Kingdom of God.

There can be no peace between citizens of Satan's kingdom, this world, and citizens of God's kingdom, those who belong to Him. We are aliens in enemy territory. But . . But . . but . . we'll pay anything to be in that Kingdom because the peace we have inside us, the peace of God, who has taken our sins away, as far as the east is from the west, that peace is worth any price. Even the sword of this world.

1 Peter 2 talks about the culture we live in as them and us. Listen to what Peter says about the dichotomy we're seeing every day. The division between the saints and the world;

…10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. 11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The world is going to slander the christians and say that we are the ones who are evil. Believe it. Peter says, take the high road so that when they are judged, the praise and glory will go to the God who has the standards that you bore.

Please notice the terminology. As far as this world is concerned, we are aliens and strangers. If the world doesn't recognize that, we're doing it wrong. Don't go to a church that looks just like the world. You want to go to a church that the world is furious with.

Let me lay a further foundation for you. You can't have Jesus without the book. In the beginning was the LOGOS. There is a sense that this book is integral with Jesus the person. John calls him the LOGOS, the Word.

We hold this book dear, because it gives us the Logos. The word. Jesus himself. The revelation of God who rules everything else but this cosmos that is infested with wickedness. The book that tells us a day is coming when that infestation of sin is finished.

The book is inerrant. It is God breathed. All of it. In order to "have" Jesus - and by the way, I'm talking about the same "have" as the one in the marriage vows where it says you get to "have and to hold" that spouse you've made vows to - in order to have Jesus, you have to embrace His book. All of it. God breathed. He said so. Every jot. Every tittle.

You see where I'm going, don't you. Because the book is clear enough about the marriage relationship, and indeed any sexual relationship, so clear, that a 6th grader can understand it.

God designed marriage and families in the first couple of chapters of the book. Here's a flash. The Supreme Court isn't supreme enough to redefine something that God clearly defined. One man. One woman. Until death parts them. Them only, no others.

Love. Fidelity. Honor. Children. Families. God's design and gift for us. No exceptions. No sex outside of those boundaries. No court is supreme enough to change what God has said.

And so the battle lines are drawn with this world that we are aliens and strangers to. Now what will you pay in order to have Jesus?

Let me paint you a little scenario. I'm not saying it will go down this way . . but it might.

Anyone who dis-agrees with the Supreme Court's law of the land is a hater. We can no longer tolerate haters. Or their rediculous hate based book. Everyone has to sign a document that says they are in agreement with what the court decreed.

If you can't sign that document and you insist on hating, here are some things to expect. Do the dollars you pay your bills with originate in some form or fashion with monies that are based somehow in your government? Want your next pay check? Sign the paper.

OK, you wouldn't agree with the court so now you must be fined. You want to believe your hate book. We fine you $200,000 dollars for that offense to other good people. Oh, you don't have a two hundred thousand dollars? Fine, then, we'll come and take your stuff, and sell it for what we can get to pay your fine.

Don't whine about freedom. Just sign the paper. Or lose everything you own. Your job. Your comfortable house. Your '38 Ford. Your Pinkham and Smith lens collection. Everything. Man, you're hard headed. Is your hate worth all of that.

Then, somewhere in that scenario, your honorable marriage and family kicks in. Leverage. I give you verse 35 and 36.

35“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

Maybe you're hard headed enough about being a hater to sleep in the rain yourself, but what about your wife? What about mom and dad who are relying on you to keep a roof over them. What about your kids?

You see how it'll go down. They'll call me a hater. I'll be clinging to hate. My kids will suffer. My family will suffer. How far will I go in order to "have" Jesus. And His book.

I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today

We used to love to sing that song. Our eyes would get wet thinking about it. But it didn't cost anything. What will happen when it does.

Sooner or later in the scenario above, your family will voice their opinion about your tenacity. I give you the classic.

Job 2 The oldest book in the Bible. 8And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes. 9Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!"

Jesus said; 34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

How much will you pay to have Jesus? Right now it costs nothing. That may change. How far will you go. Because it seems to be important to Him.

In Syria and Iraq, 10 christians heads are sitting in front of a public building. Their bodies are not there. Just their heads. If you're morbid you can find these images on Google.

If that christian lived with a family who were muslims, how do you think that went down? Does that sort of give new meaning to what Jesus just said.

The man with the broad sword comes. He's a giant man. It takes some power to actually cut someone's head off. A giant with a sword shows up and says, I know you've got a christian in here. Which one of you is it? Or do I take all of your heads.

And that's the sword that the prince of peace may bring. Her. My son's wife. She's a christian. We are not. Take her. Leave us alone. Allahu Akbar! Get her out of here. "AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW"

What will you pay in order to "have" Jesus. Because He says;
37“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

Will you pay with your wife? Your son? Your daughter? Your father? Your mother? in order to "have" Jesus?

38“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Will you pay your life? In order to keep Jesus? That's exactly what He means here.

I've heard thousands of sermons about losing your life for Christ where it's understood the guy is talking about leaving your sin behind and following Jesus at a deeper level. Like Paul. In Galations 2

19"For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

That's one thing. I've been largely unsuccessful at even this level. But here, I believe Jesus is talking about a more ultimate cost. Will you follow Him, "have" Him even if they kill this body?

Actually that scenario might be easier. A few minutes of resolve and then you're in the saviors arms. The living sacrifice thing like what Paul's talking about is harder. The thing about being a living sacrifice is it's too easy to jump off the alter.

In both cases, what Jesus says next is both grave, and true.

39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

Here, is a riddle. You find it, you lose it, you lose it, for His sake, you find it. What does it mean?

The founders came to America in order to worship without a sword dangling over them. Then, Thomas Jefferson took John Locke's ideas about the "pursuit of happiness" and said, Americans have the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence.

And that's all well and good, except, this book teaches us that we have no capacity to find "happiness". We pursue it in all the wrong places.

I wouldn't trade my life with any other that flashes in front of me on the TV set. Me and Pam embraced the principles in this book and set out on that course, and we have enjoyed 40 years together of happiness. We look around us and say to each other, often, do you realize how rare that is? Totally because of this book!

American has gone "pursuit of happiness" mad. Bonkers.

Legalize divorce in the 1960's so you can be happy.
Legalize murder of babies in 1973 so you can be happy.
Legalize sex with anybody, any time, no holds barred, so you can be happy.
Legalize marijuana so you can be happy.
Legalize physician assissted death on demand, so you can be happy.
Legalize same sex marriage, sodomy, so those folks can be happy like the rest of us.

Look around you. How's it working out for them? Is anybody happy? All these people who are pursuing "life".

Guess what. Jesus has a riddle for them.

39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

I'm here to tell you, I wouldn't trade my happiness, in Jesus, doing a minimum of what He said to do, with any of them. You're looking at a rare specimen. I've had a wonderful life. Full of unconditional love. My kids think I can walk on water. Silly kids. My grandkids are crazy about me. Most of the time. My extended family loves to get together. We don't fight. We enjoy each other.

We were lucky. We understood Jesus riddle. We never bothered looking anywhere else. Now we look around us and say, wow! How did we hit the jackpot?

And that riddle of Jesus has levels. The more you give, the more He gives . . life. At 62 I'm still digging deeper into His riddle.

40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

I think these final words make the most sense in a situation where there is duress and cost involved for the one receiving.

You folks all graciously received me this morning. I don't think this reward is for you.

When the day comes when being a christian puts a big red N (for Nazarene) on your head and you're like bounty to anyone who can kill you, and you're running for your life from one village to the next, then these words have special meaning.

When that day comes and gracious people receive you and help you on your way, God will remember those acts. When there is cost involved. When you are putting your life in peril to help these folks who are running, God will remember.

42“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

This last one has special pathos. A little family. A mom and some kids. Running from village to village to try to keep ahead of ISIS or some other sword we don't know about yet. And you give those precious ones a bottle of cold water. God will reward that.

Folks, there is ample opportunity for us to do these things before the sun sets today. People in Syria and Iraq are running for their lives and there are organizations like voice of the martyrs who are using our dollars to help these very folks.

Jeff and Donna brought electricity to a village in Ethiopia and bought them a well so the whole village could have a glass of cold water. Little black babies are alive and healthy today that might not have been, if not for them. World Vision. They've made some mistakes, but your dollars can still accomplish these things in Christ's name.

Now is the time to invest in treasure in heaven. It's wide open. We may be the ones running before Jesus comes. For now, pay it ahead. Pile up some treasure in heaven by helping these folks who are running for their lives. www.persecution.com

Go to their "newsroom" page and read what's happening as we speak.

I hope you don't think I'm being alarmist for the sake of trying to hold your interest. I'm not. I listen to several men who are a lot smarter than I am who are doing their best to keep their fingers on the pulse of where the church is at.

I want to finish by reading a letter that was sent out by the President of the Master's Seminary. I believe it is the premier seminary in our land. Bear with me for a few more important minutes. Listen for things that I've already said. I'm not above robbing good ideas like mad.

Quote;

Dear Master’s Man,

The highest court in the land has passed its judgment. The headlines proclaim that a slim majority of Supreme Court justices considers freedom of sexual orientation a right for all Americans. This exchange of one set of values in favor of another does not come as a surprise to us who already know that the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe (2 Cor. 4:4). June 26th, 2015 stands as a significant milestone in the American demonstration of this ancient reality.

In the coming days, you will be expected as a shepherd to provide commentary and comfort to your flock. This is a critical hour for pastors, and stands as another reminder of why proper training is crucial.

I’m writing this short message as one pastor to another. Media outlets are bustling with updates, and I don’t need to add my voice to the general fray. Instead, I want to help you shepherd your church through this confusing time. In addition to the helpful articles on the Preaching and Preachers Blog, I also want to communicate the below thoughts that I trust will help you frame the issue in a biblical way.

1. No human court has the authority to redefine marriage, and the verdict yesterday does not change the God ordained reality of marriage. God was not defeated in this ruling, and every marriage will be judged according to biblical grounds on the last day. Nothing will prevail against Him (Proverbs 21:30) and nothing will thwart the advance of His Kingdom (Dan 4:35).

2. The Word of God has pronounced judgment on any nation that would reclassify evil as good, darkness as light, and bitter as sweet (Isaiah 5:20). As a nation, America continues to put herself in the crosshairs of judgment. As a proclaimer of truth, you are responsible for never compromising on these issues. In every way you must stand firm.
No human court has the authority to redefine marriage, and the verdict yesterday does not change the God ordained reality of marriage.

3. This ruling proves that we are clearly in the minority, and a people set apart (1 Peter 2:9-11; Titus 2:14). As I wrote in the book Why Government Can’t Save You, the standards that shaped Western culture and American society have given way to practical atheism and moral relativism. This decision has simply accelerated the rate of decline. A country will not rise above the morality of its citizens, and the majority of Americans don’t have a biblical worldview.

4. Religious liberty is not promised in the Bible. In America, the church of Jesus Christ has enjoyed unprecedented freedom. This is changing, and the new normal may include persecution that is new to us. There has never been a more important time for gifted men to help lead the church by capably handling the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).

5. Marriage is not the ultimate battleground, and our enemies are not the men and women who seek to destroy it (2 Corinthians 10:4). The battleground is the Gospel. Be careful not to replace patience, love, and prayer with bitterness, hatred, and politics. As you carefully guide your flock around the dangerous pitfalls ahead, remind them of the indomitable power of forgiveness through the cross of Christ.

6. Romans 1 clearly identifies the evidence for the wrath of God on a nation: sexual immorality followed by homosexual immorality culminating in a reprobate mind. This most recent step reminds us that God’s wrath has come in full. We now see reprobate minds at every level of leadership – in the Supreme Court, the presidency, cabinet, legislature, press and culture. If our diagnosis is in line with Romans 1 then we must also follow the prescription found in Romans 1 – we are not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation! In this day it is our divine duty and calling to strengthen the church, families, and gospel testimony by shedding the pragmatic nonsense that distracts the church from its mission given by God. Homosexuals—like all other sinners—need to be warned of impending eternal judgment and lovingly offered the forgiveness, grace and new life through repentance and faith in the lord Jesus Christ

In the final analysis, your greatest contribution to your people will be to show patience and a steady confidence in the sovereignty of God, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and the authority of Scripture. Turn their eyes toward the Savior, and remind them that when He returns, all will be made right.

We are praying for your steadfast proclamation of truth, and your uncompromising stand for Christ.

John MacArthur End quote.

One final note. One of the last things John said there was Turn their eyes toward the Savior, and remind them that when He returns, all will be made right. I want to add that we are being battered by this argument about being on the right side of history. That's a big deal. I'm an obvious knuckle dragger. On the wrong side of history.

When Jesus appears, and we with Him in glory, then the world will know that we are in fact on the "right side of history". What this book clearly teaches is always, always, always; the right side of history. Make no mistake on that.