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Warning Danger Ahead Luke 6;1-11 072207

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Warning: Danger Ahead! (Luke 6:1-11)

Intro: Fire drills at High School and in College.

   One of the things we have in our world to keep us out of danger is alarms. Alarms may be a nuisance to our ears, but they are usually our friends. Fire alarms alert us to the danger of fire. Burglar alarms alert us of the danger of theft and violence. Our alarm clocks alert us of the danger of being late for school or work. If we do not heed them, then we could be out of a job. “An alarm may be annoying but, face it, most alarms are your friend. 

God has given us His Word to sound off an alarm for us. God’s Word helps us to know when we are in danger. It helps us understand what dangers we face. God’s word not only instructs and encourages us, it also warns us. And while, there is no explicit warning in the passage today, as we apply it to our lives, it issues a warning.

   Give Background. Today we look at the last two of three controversies. The first was about fasting, these are about the Sabbath. And while they take place on two different Sabbaths, they go together. In the last message, we saw that Jesus received opposition over the issue of fasting, but in the two stories in our text today, Christ receives opposition concerning the Sabbath. Read Luke 6:1-11 Let’s look at five dangers that we all face.

 

1.        The Danger of Rules Righteousness (1-2)

a.        The Pharisees had taken God’s religion and made it a rules righteousness. They were more concerned with their rules than the hunger of the needy. Their rules impugned the disciples at four points.

b.        God has always been concerned with the heart. The OT law pointed to the fact that people cannot get right with God without God’s intervention.

c.        I am afraid that sometimes we are guilty of making rules, as “church people,” that God does not even make. 

App: You cannot earn God’s favor by doing good works. You cannot go to heaven following a set of rules. Perhaps you think you will get to heave this way. Jesus said that there is only one way to the father and that is through Jesus Himself. He lived, died, and rose again. He lived to provide a righteousness which we cannot have on our own. He died because our sin creates a debt we cannot pay. He rose again so we can have a new life that we can never earn. If you want to have eternal life, then you must turn from you sin and trust in Jesus Christ.

2.        The Danger of misunderstanding who Jesus Is (3-5)

a.        Jesus responds to the scribes and Pharisees by giving a warning. The scribes and Pharisees confronted Jesus and His disciples and phrased their question in such a way as to warn them that they were in violation of their rules.

b.        Ultimately, Jesus says that He is above the law because He came to fulfill the Law and He is the author of the law. He is also above the law in that He can interpret the law perfectly, yet they did so imperfectly.

c.        The disciples had a need. They placed their rules above the needs of people. They understood neither the intent of the law, which was for the good of man, nor that the Jesus was God. They misunderstood who Jesus was.

ILL: Doctors are so busy nowadays.  More and more of them are running their practices like an assembly line.  Doc Blakely tells about a fellow who walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had.  He said, "Shingles."  So she took down his name, address, medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.  Fifteen minutes later a nurse's aide came out and asked him what he had.  He said, "Shingles."  So she took down his height, weight, a complete medical history and told him to wait in an examining room. A half-hour later a nurse came in and asked him what he had.  He said, "Shingles."  So she gave him a blood test, a blood pressure test, an electrocardiagram, told him to take off all his clothes, and wait for the doctor.  An hour later the doctor came in and asked him what he had.  He said, "Shingles."  The doctor said, "Where?"  He said, "Outside in the truck.  Where do you want 'em?"

App: Do you know this Jesus? He is the Lord of the Sabbath. He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is God. Do you know Him? The danger of rules righteousness flows right into the danger of misunderstanding who Jesus is. If you think you can follow a set of rules to get to heaven you won’t understand who Jesus is.

 

3.        The Danger of Self-RighteousNess (6-7)

a.        The scribes and Pharisees did not have righteousness that came from truly knowing God or Jesus. Their righteousness was from keeping their own rules. But, their joy was not in keeping the rules, but in catching other people breaking their rules.

b.        This is one of the greatest dangers for “church people.” We get so good at appearing to be right with God, that we begin to be God’s police. Trying to catch people breaking the rules that we have added to God’s Way.

c.        The hardest people to lead in the church are the ones who never do anything wrong. As a matter of fact, they are so righteous that they don’t even worry about themselves any more they watch out for others. These people set themselves up above the pastor and other church leaders. They feel like it is their job to make sure everybody else is doing things their way, according to their rules.

App: Are you falling in to the trap of self-righteousness? When I preach the word of God, do your find yourself applying it to others. Do you find yourself saying I wish so and so had been here this morning, they really needed that? Do you find yourself talking about other people, and how bad they are? Do your criticize people a lot because they don’t do things YOUR way? If you answer yes, the you are in a danger zone.

 

4.        The Danger of Misunderstanding What God is doing (8-10)

a.        Jesus responded to the Pharisees by giving a healing sign confirming God’s favor with Jesus. Then He spoke of the true intent of the Sabbath. The Sabbath commandment was never intended to bring harm to men. The Sabbath was intended for good and to give life.

b.        Perhaps the saddest thing about these two stories, is that the ones who should have recognized the heart of God, missed it. The ones that should have understood that Jesus was the Messiah, didn’t. These were the religious establishment of the day. These were the Israelites, the people of God, the leaders who know the Word of God better than anyone else, but they missed what God was doing. They just didn’t get it.

c.        Oh how said it is for me to see “church” people who just don’t get it. They don’t get what God is doing. They know all the right stories. They know all the right words to use. They know all the right things to do to appear to know God, but they don’t get what God is doing.

d.        What is God doing? He is at work in our world. He is bring people into His kingdom. Who does He intend to use to do this? Christians, like you and me. But so many in the church don’t get it.

ILL:  Years ago a conscientious homeowner wrote to a manufacturer of cast iron pipes, telling them that he had found that by pouring pure hydrochloric acid down his drain, he immediately opened his grease clogged pipes.  He asked if there was any way in which the acid might be harmful to the pipes.

The plumbing manufacturer wrote him back.  "Thank you for your letter.  The effect of such acid upon ferrous-constructed materials is certain to be deleterious.  We therefore strongly urge you to cease such activity in the interest of the future of your plumbing."

He read their letter and responded, thanking them for their letter, telling them that he was relieved that he was doing the right thing in using the acid on the pipes.

Another letter from the manufacturer: "We fear that there may have been some miscommunication in our correspondence.  Acid, of that density, applied to cast iron pipe, is certain to have dubious results.  Therefore, please desist from your current practices."

The homeowner read the letter, then wrote back, thanking the company for its response, telling them once again that he was delighted that he was doing nothing which might harm the pipes.

Finally, an exasperated manufacturer sent a telegram: DON'T USE ACID.  IT RUSTS THE HECK OUT OF THE PIPES!    The possibilities for misunderstanding are limitless.

William Willimon, How Can I Hear You?, May 26, 1996, Acts 2:1-21.  Adapted.

App: What about in your life? What if you are misunderstanding what God is doing? What if you are about to miss the greatest years of your life in Christ because you just don’t get? You’ve charted your own path. You may have even told others that God is in it, but you don’t even see that you have left God. As a matter of fact you stand in direct opposition to God’s plan.

 

5.        The Danger of Opposing God’s Plan (11)

a.        In the end, the greatest danger of all is standing in direct opposition to God and His plan. The Pharisees were enraged by Jesus actions and response. He had put them in a bad spot. They were in a pickle- so to speak.

b.        Now they had decided. The conspiracy was official. Their hearts were set on bring charges against Jesus. Ultimately, they were standing in direct opposition to God’s plan to redeem the lost unto salvation.

c.        Yet, in all of this God’s Plan was still at work for in their wickedness and rebellion, God had already been at work. He had foreseen their folly and God’s plan was to use this rebellion to bring about His salvation.

d.        I hope you see the futility of opposing God. In the end, God’s plan still worked for He is sovereign and those Pharisees received just what they deserved – Eternity in Hell without the God they thought they knew.

App: Some of you may be in this position today. You may be so hardened to God that you are actually opposing God’s work. Yes, you may be a person who has attended church for years, but you stand against God because the only person you really support is yourself and your own agenda.

        Some of you are living lives of sin that stand in direct opposition to God and God’s Word. You made a decision some years ago and you had a life change, a salvation experience. But, now you have sin in your life. It is your pet sin. You have decided that God is okay with it and that you will just be okay with it too.

It could be a sin of commission – something you do that you know is not right. Perhaps you are putting things into your body that are destroying the temple of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you are involved in sexual sin and unfaithfulness to your spouse or you are dabbling in pre-marital sex. Perhaps you are spending your money on things that God will not bless, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, the lottery, things that are meant to put your pleasure above the pleasure and joy your are to have in God.

It could be a sin of omission – something you know is right, but you don’t do. Attending church regularly. Giving your tithes and offerings to support God’s work here at Audubon. Sharing your faith with other people. Regular times of Bible Intake and Prayer. Giving your time and energy to serve God regularly in the church.

It is always a dangerous place to be when you oppose God’s plan. The Bible reveals God’s plan for you. There is a narrow way that the believer is given it is God’s way. Then there is your way and it always leads to judgment and destruction of good and life.

Illustration: As company of tourists were strolling among the Bernese Alps, the sun had set and they faced the darkness of the night. After having groped in the dark for an hour or more, they resolved to spend the night at a certain spot where they felt they were treading on soft mossy soil, although the darkness prevented them from seeing where they were. They entertained each other with songs and talked at length, until one after the other stretched himself out on the grass and fell asleep.

                When a few hours later the sun rose and the morning breeze awoke them, they discovered with horror that they were lying only a few steps from a vast precipice, and that they had been jesting and singing and sleeping on the very brink of what might have been their grave. --Denton 

Conclusion: Invitation:  Salvation; Baptism; Church Membership; The call.

 

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