High standards, huh?
Have you ever been angry with another believer, or insulted them? Jesus said you will be judged.
Have you ever given a tithe or offering at church, but were aware that you were on the outs with another believer? Jesus said to work things out before you give to the church.
Ever look at someone who was not your spouse with lust in your heart? Jesus said you are guilty of adultery.
Have been divorced without your spouse having committed adultery? Have you married someone who was divorced without adultery being the reason for that divorce?
Have you ever made a deal with God, and then forgotten all about the deal?
Have you sought revenge on someone who did you dirty?
Have you had thoughts of bad things happening to someone that you know wants harm to come to you?
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the worst guy on the planet. But according to Jesus’ teaching in this sermon, I. Am. Guilty. Guilty as charged. I cannot sit behind this microphone and brag about being righteous. I can’t expect to get into Heaven on my merits.
I am in deep, deep trouble.
Am I alone? Do you know anybody in deep trouble like I am? I’m thinking you probably do.
Oh. It’s you? Well surprise, surprise.
That realization is exactly what Jesus intended with this sermon. He needed to make us aware of our need for Him. We desperately need Him. We need him more than food, more than water, more than the air we breathe. Because without Him, our future is bleak. Our future holds nothing but blackness, torment, and separation from God.
But here is the Good News! John 3:17 and 18 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in him is not condemned.”
If I believe in Him, I am free from condemnation! My sins, which are many, are not only forgiven, they are forgotten. They are as far from me as the east is from the west. God sees me as pure and holy and righteous, because of what Jesus did for me. And for you.
That is the best news you will hear today, tomorrow and forever. Period.
Do you believe it? I sincerely hope so.