The eleventh commandment


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The eleventh commandment

  1. 1. The Eleventh Commandment
  2. 2. The undercover pastor <ul><li>New to the area </li></ul><ul><li>Decided to dress up like a beggar and find out what the Christian community is like. </li></ul>
  3. 3. He went to the nearest town <ul><li>A town quite like Petersburg </li></ul><ul><li>He blends in to the crowd, and goes to McDonalds… </li></ul>
  4. 4. While at McDonalds. <ul><li>He met Mrs... Self Righteous. </li></ul><ul><li>She is Prim and Proper, and very proud of her storehouse of Christian knowledge… </li></ul><ul><li>The subject turned to religion. </li></ul><ul><li>To prove her storehouse of biblical knowledge and to prove his ignorance, she asks him a question… </li></ul>
  5. 5. How many commandments are there? <ul><li>The beggar/pastor answered, “Eleven” </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously horrified at his incompetence she says… </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Why, you know nothing about religion at all! Be gone, beggar man! Why should I spend my time with such as you? </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Next Sunday <ul><li>Imagine her surprise when she looks up and sees that her new pastor was the very beggar at McDonalds a few days before… </li></ul>
  7. 7. And to make matter’s worse the title of his sermon was “The Eleventh Commandment”
  8. 8. John 13:34-35 <ul><li>(34) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. </li></ul><ul><li>(35) By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 1 st Reason we must Love <ul><li>This is a COMMAND...not a SUGGESTION </li></ul><ul><li>Not “I PREFER YOU TO” </li></ul><ul><li>Not “TRY TO” </li></ul><ul><li>Not “WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT” </li></ul><ul><li>Not “IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU” </li></ul><ul><li>BUT “ Love one another” </li></ul><ul><li>With the same force that God the father gave the Israelites the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” God the son says, I am giving you a new COMMANDMENT … </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love one another” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Impact on John… <ul><li>John focuses on Love in his epistles… </li></ul><ul><li>I John, only 5 chapters long, has some form of the word “Love” 51 times… </li></ul>
  11. 11. An Old Tradition <ul><li>A weak, fragile, elderly, Apostle John would preach and simply say, “My Little children, Love one another” </li></ul><ul><li>Some asked him why he was hung up on this subject, he simply said, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Because, it is the Lord's command, and if ONLY THIS is done, it is enough.“ </li></ul>
  12. 12. Look at these Characteristics <ul><li>I do not drink </li></ul><ul><li>I do not commit adultery </li></ul><ul><li>I do not steal. </li></ul><ul><li>I have never murdered anyone. </li></ul><ul><li>I stand straight and true in society. </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t cuss </li></ul><ul><li>I have never gossiped </li></ul><ul><li>I am not greedy. </li></ul><ul><li>I do my job without complaining. </li></ul><ul><li>I serve the purpose God has given me. </li></ul>How many would say that these are Characteristics of a Good Christian? Are you Sure?
  13. 13. Those describe a fence post!
  14. 14. So how can you tell a fence post from a Christian? <ul><li>A Christian is known by their Love… </li></ul><ul><li>This is our 2nd Point today: </li></ul><ul><li>Through love we PROVE that we really do have a RELATIONSHIP with God. </li></ul><ul><li>(35) By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Do you Love as Christ loved? <ul><li>The only way for someone to know you are a Christian is for them to see Christ’s love through you! </li></ul><ul><li>Or are you so judgmental that others cannot see Christ’s love. </li></ul><ul><li>I know of some “Christians” that refuse to let non-Christians eat or drink with them. </li></ul><ul><li>That is not Christ like… Christ ate and drank with prostitutes, drunks, the low lifes of that time. </li></ul><ul><li>He showed them love. </li></ul>
  16. 16. And what about your enemies? <ul><li>He said to love them too. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes you can turn your enemies into friends by showing them Christ’s love… </li></ul><ul><li>This is what God did for us. </li></ul><ul><li>We were once His enemy, but he showed us his love, thus reconciling us to himself. Now Jesus calls us friends! </li></ul><ul><li>Let Christ be our example. </li></ul><ul><li>This brings us to our 3 rd reason to love others </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3) By loving others it will attract the unchurched to Christ. <ul><li>In John 12:32 Jesus said, “ And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.” </li></ul><ul><li>One way we &quot;lift Jesus up&quot; is when we love as only He can love. </li></ul><ul><li>It shows them that we are real… </li></ul><ul><li>“They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. But <ul><li>If we go around hating people, talking about people, beating each other up, no one will want to be a part of us… Would you? </li></ul><ul><li>People need love. They desire love, as much as any other physical need. </li></ul><ul><li>When people find love, they are drawn to it…. Just like water draws the thirsty. </li></ul><ul><li>People want real love… not superficial, hypocritical love, where we say we love them with a smile, then stab them in the back at the same time. </li></ul>
  19. 19. 4) In order to love with real love, we have to depend on Christ. <ul><li>We need to ask, “How did He do it?”… </li></ul><ul><li>Notice He said, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you , that ye also love one another. </li></ul><ul><li>So let’s look at 3 characteristics of Christ’s love: </li></ul>
  20. 20. 1) His love is characterized by ACTION not FEELING. <ul><li>Let’s be honest…We don’t always FEEL like loving others… </li></ul><ul><li>Some people it is hard to Love. </li></ul><ul><li>But fortunately this is a command not to FEEL love but to ACT in love. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus acted out His love… </li></ul><ul><li>Think of how God loves us… is it just feelings.. or do we see the action… </li></ul>
  21. 21. John 3:16 <ul><li>“ For God so loved the world that He gave”…. ACTION </li></ul><ul><li>Or what about this one: Romans 5:8 </li></ul><ul><li>(8) “But God commendeth (ACTION) his love toward us (ACTION) , in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died (ACTION) for us.” </li></ul>
  22. 22. But you may ask <ul><li>“ How can I ACT out love, if I don’t FEEL the Love.” </li></ul><ul><li>You do it because you love Christ…. He commanded you to. So out of love for Him, you can love the unloveable… </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever we do we are to do it as if we are doing it for Christ… </li></ul><ul><li>So when you are ACTING out your love for others.. do it by FEELING the love for Christ. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Colossians 3:23 <ul><li>(23) And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; </li></ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. </li></ul>
  24. 24. 2) Another characteristic of Jesus love is that it is INCLUSIVE...not SELECTIVE <ul><li>During a war, A soldier died, his fellow soldiers found a nearby church, with a cemetery surrounded by a white fence. They asked the Priest if he could be buried there… </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Priest said no <ul><li>since the guy that died was a protestant he could not be buried in their Roman Catholic cemetery. But the Priest said that he could be buried outside the fence, and the priest promised to watch look after the grave, and keep it up. </li></ul>
  26. 26. A few years passed and the war ended.. <ul><li>The soldiers came back to pay respect, they remembered where the church and grave was but..when they got to the cemetery, they could not find where they buried him. </li></ul>
  27. 27. They approached the priest <ul><li>&quot;Sir, we cannot find our friend's grave,&quot; &quot;Well,&quot; answered the priest, &quot;After you buried your fallen friend, it just didn't seem right to me that he should be buried there, outside the fence.&quot; &quot;So, you moved the grave?&quot; asked the soldiers. &quot;No,&quot; said the priest, &quot;I moved the fence.&quot; </li></ul>
  28. 28. That is exactly what God does.. <ul><li>None of us deserve a place IN God’s love, but because He loves us, he reaches OUT to us… and Brings us in his fence… </li></ul>
  29. 29. Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount : Matthew 5:43-48 <ul><li>(43) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. </li></ul><ul><li>(44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; </li></ul><ul><li>(45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. </li></ul><ul><li>(46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? </li></ul><ul><li>(47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others] ? do not even the publicans so? </li></ul><ul><li>(48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Jesus calls for the inclusion of love, for no one stands on the outside of the circle of Christ’s love. Rapists Drunks Prostitutes Child Molesters Homosexuals Gossips Drug pushers thieves liars Murderers Idol worshippers rebels fornicators All other sinners… including YOU!!! Proud
  31. 31. The problem <ul><li>Our circle </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus’ Circle </li></ul>“ Someone God loves has AIDS” Maybe hard for some of us to swallow, but God is not a respecter of persons
  32. 32. DRAW a circle in your mind Put yourself in it. Write: &quot;There's no one in the whole world that God loves more than He does me.&quot; And then before you begin to feel self-righteous add: &quot;And there's no one in the whole world that God loves LESS than me.”
  33. 33. God loves all people ... EVEN PEOPLE WHOM WE FEEL JUSTIFIED TO HATE. <ul><li>We all deserve to go to Hell… Yes, you deserve to go to Hell! I deserve it.. </li></ul><ul><li>But we pat ourselves on our backs because we spend 1-2 hours a week in worship, and say, “What a good Christian am I” </li></ul><ul><li>But what happens when someone you consider a sinner wants to come in and worship? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Do you say? <ul><li>Keep em out… they are SINNERS!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Well guess what, that is the type of business we are in…. </li></ul><ul><li>We are sinners worshiping God.. how dare any of us keep someone from God… </li></ul><ul><li>As long as I am in the pulpit here, people will be able to come to this church to: </li></ul><ul><li>find answers, </li></ul><ul><li>to get help, </li></ul><ul><li>to have a relationship with God… </li></ul><ul><li>The moment this church quits reaching out to others, and becomes a social club, we should close the doors. And shut down…. </li></ul>
  35. 35. 3) A third characteristic of Jesus' love is that it is a SACRIFICIAL, SELFLESS love.
  36. 36. 2 conclusions… <ul><li>1) Our world needs the love of Jesus. Hate comes so easily to people these days. </li></ul><ul><li>2) We can’t love the unloveable… it is not in US to do it, but God through us can… He empowers us to Love others that we so naturally want to Hate… </li></ul><ul><li>Are you willing to love? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have Christ’s love in your heart to share with others… </li></ul>