We can't live on what someone said, or what someone taught us, or something we heard. We personally need to know what Jesus said and what He taught. Our job as the church is to go and make disciples of all peoples and TEACH them to follow what Jesus said. Not traditions.
Mt 28:18-20 "Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
There are many in the church who think that Jesus came to abolish the old covenant, the old testament, and make something new. But Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.”
There are many people today who consider themselves prophets, even
“Master” prophets. And they say things that are different that God’s word and many of them are consumed with the politics of our country, and the things they believe Jesus wants to undo in our world.
I'm not interested in what Jesus would undo in the world. So, if you think Jesus would undo the 2020 elections, for instance, that isn’t what concerns me. Even though I believe this is the greatest country on the planet and I love America, I don't believe God is as worried about America as many so called prophets say today.
The example I see in the Bible is God concerned with his people, the actions and beliefs of His people. He rarely sent prophets to people that he didn't claim as his own. Even in foreign lands he sent prophets to speak to His people. He sent his word to His people. Today I believe that in the church, WE are his people.
I think what we should really care about is what the Word of God says. The Bible says in the last days many false prophets will appear, and many false messiahs will appear. And don’t listen to them. Don’t allow yourselves to be distracted by so-called spiritual people. What the world needs is less of these “spiritual” people and more "Jesus" people.
2,000 years ago, a small group of people was able to shake the world, because they were like Jesus. They actually did what Jesus told them in Matthew 28.
They preached the Gospel and signs followed. They made disciples and taught them to obey the teachings of Jesus.
Remember all of the "WWJD" things from like 30 years ago? What would Jesus do? Let’s flip that around and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus undo?”
I am convinced that very often what we need is to flip things around and look at ourselves, and our church, and our land in a different way. My wife Shauna and I already look at things different. That comes from growing up in pastors' families and also from growing up in other countries. We are 100% American, but we are different. It affects how we look at, respond to, and generally think about the world.
Our culture is important, and it is normal and very possible for us to be so used to things, that we don’t even want to see something different, let alone try to change our perspective or really make a difference in the world.
And yet, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.
And God is doing something new:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Lamentations 3 tells us his mercies are new every morning. Thank God for that!
I think God does something new all the time, and people don’t perceive it, because they can’t imagine that there are things they are doing personally or as a a group that Jesus would possibly want to undo.
We all want to know what Jesus is going to do. We all want to know what God’s plan is. That's why the end times subject is so popular and the Left Behind series sold so many copies, because if you claim to understand God’s plan for tomorrow, people clamor to listen to you.
But in the Bible, when God’s prophets proclaimed what God was going to do tomorrow, they got killed! Those prophets didn’t get medals or fame or recognitions. They got killed. The people didn’t want to change...they didn’t want to repent, neither then nor today.
People are looking for a message that says God is pleased with them, and that "tomorrow" God is going to do the very thing they want him to do. People want to hear that God is as concerned with the elections in America as you are... that God is as upset with the government as you are... that God is going to remove the bad leader and put in the leader you like, who coincidentally has been chosen and anointed by God.
You might notice a bit of sarcasm in that, so I apologize. This is exactly what people were expecting Jesus to do when he walked in Israel. They thought he was going to end injustice, remove Rome as a world power, restore the glory and kingdom of David and Solomon, basically everything they wanted politically.
ACTS 1:6 "So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
But Jesus didn’t come to get involved in politics. Imagine that! Jesus told the Roman Governor, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)
There were things even then that He wanted to undo, and it started with His people and their beliefs and actions. I believe there are things today that Jesus wants to undo, and I think it also begins with us, and what we believe and how we act. If Jesus were here today (and He is) what would He be doing? Protesting policy in Washington? Fighting for good elections? Arguing politics with everyone who agrees or disagrees with Him? Fighting for or against a vaccine?
Are these the kinds of things that would consume our Lord if He was in our cities or congregations right now?
How are we even supposed to know the answer to that question? Well, not the way most people are learning things. Recently, I have seen more than ever, where people are living their life according to something they heard. I've seen people think the Spirit of God told them this or that. People heard this preacher or that preacher say something and they liked it.
The only problem is it's not what the Bible says! I've heard people tell me God told them something, but it's different than anything in the Bible. Or people searching the Bible for a “verse” that backs up something they want to think or do. I believe Jesus would want to undo that in us. Even so, this is going to happen more and more in our world unless God’s people know God’s Word.
If you spend much time studying the Bible with me, you will definitely hear me say that one of the worst things we have done to God’s Word is add chapters and verses to it. It may make translation and debate easier, but it makes understanding much more difficult, and it makes getting the big picture more difficult. We tend to read a verse or sentence and make theological statements about it. We even have “important” ideas based on a few lines in the Bible. That isn’t the big picture.
As an example, go read the sermon on the mount in Matthew. It takes about 10-15 minutes to read this out loud, give it a shot. You will have a perspective of the sermon on the mount you didn’t have before. And after reading it, let's take a look at a few things.
As you were reading it you may have noticed a few times Jesus says, “You have heard . . . but I tell you. . .” Jesus is challenging what they thought they knew. They had been taught what to think about God’s Word, and what His will was for their lives, how they were supposed to live, what was acceptable and what was not. But Jesus is undoing some things. He is challenging them. He's undoing generations of Bible teaching.
For Generations they had been taught what God’s Word said, or rather, they had been taught about God’s Word. But maybe like many people today, they didn’t read it themselves, for sure many poor people would not have had their own bible, but we do today or least have access to one.
How much of our main beliefs are like their's were? "I heard this..." "I was taught this..." "I believe this..."
What did Jesus say? What does the word of God actually say?
Too often we've been taught ABOUT God’s Word, instead of actually being taught God’s Word. Can you see the difference?
Learning about God’s word as a child, doesn't prepare you for the world. It just tells you a bunch of Bible stories and rules. It gives you religion, but no change, no power.
If you take the time to really to study the Word of God, you may find out that Jesus has some things to UNDO in your life.
There is a false idea in the world today that when you love someone, that means you can never want them to change or improve. This is usually only applied when you personally want to do something and anyone else has a different opinion. That means it's impossible that the other person actually loves you, cares about you, or accepts you.
Jesus loves, cares about, and accepts every person exactly as they are... all the imperfections, mistakes, and sin included. But you will notice in the Bible, Jesus has this amazing affect on people. He accepts the sinner, and in an extremely short amount of time, they want to change their actions and character to be more like him. This is still the case today. Too often we are spending time with ourselves, or others, and calling it, "time with Jesus."
Today, let us spend time with Jesus. Let us spend some time really reading the Word of God. Read a lot of it. We have the time. Just ask your smart phone what your screen time was last week. You will find that you have time to spend with Jesus. Allow him access to undo what needs to be undone in you.
Most of the things Jesus preached about in the sermon on the mount are things that need to be changed inside. The specific actions he mentions will help to reinforce the change on the inside.
If you're not a believer in Jesus today, and you don’t believe He is God, maybe you heard that HE loves you just the way you are. Maybe you heard that real sin is not being true to yourself...
Listen to what bible says,
"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father." Matthew 7:21-22
"The world’s sins is that it refuses to believe in me." John 16:9
God wants to undo you. And then redo you to be more like Jesus.
"For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins." Colossians 1:13-14
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Father, I pray for the reader today. Help them to see how much you actually love them, and that part of this love is to undo things they have wrong in their understanding of your Word and your will. And that you want to undo things even in their churches.
Help them to love your Word, so that they can read it with a new perspective. Help them to see the big picture. Help them to look at the world with a new perspective, your perspective. Help them to see the world through your eyes, not male eyes, female eyes, American eyes, racial eyes, but instead to see the world through the eyes of Jesus.
I challenge you, starting to day, to take a new look at God’s word. Begin to really study the Word of God, and allow yourself to change where you need to. Allow yourself to see places in your life, in your mind, where you believe something that is wrong. I don’t care how awesome the teacher was...I don’t care if they claim to be a prophet or man or woman of God...Be open to undo those things.