FBCWest 372 | Teaching on the Entry and Greatness in the Kingdom
Recorded On: 02/02/2020
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth.”
“I Will Celebrate”
Praise and Worship
SCRIPTURE READING – Psalm 107:1 & 2
“God Who Saves”
“God of Brilliant Lights”
“Today Is Beautiful”
“Oh My Soul”
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
SPECIAL MUSIC – By Pru Hungate
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“The Life and Ministry of Jesus The Messiah”
“Teaching on Entry and Greatness in the Kingdom”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“From the Inside Out”
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “Won’t Stop Now”
Entry and greatness in the kingdom
Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
Matthew 18:2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,
Matthew 18:3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:5 "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;
Matthew 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Stumbling Blocks
Matthew 18:7 "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!
Matthew 18:8 "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.
Matthew 18:9 "If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.
Matthew 18:10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 18:11 ["1For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.] Ninety-nine Plus One
Matthew 18:12 "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?
Matthew 18:13 "If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.
Matthew 18:14 "So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. Discipline and Prayer
Transcript of Service
When I was a child.
I wanted to be president of the United States.
And some of my decisions.
Reflected that ambition.
Reason I went to law school was not to become a great lawyer.
Although I am.
But but that was the path I saw how.
People got to the White House.
Want to be athletic stars. They want to be in the NFL or the NBA or the NHL or Major League Baseball there.
Their goal their ambition their desire their dream.
Is to be?
Major League athlete.
Some people have the ambition to raise in the ranks of their businesses.
president or CEO or whatever, the highest reaches of the organization is.
We have those ambitions.
Some of them good.
Some of them not.
Some of them realized and many not.
But it's interesting when it comes to spiritual matters.
We seem to be ambitious lists.
We kind of have this idea that while we live in the United States and it's a capitalistic society that somehow heaven is a great communist state in the Sky.
Everybody just equal everybody just the same, the whole point is just get there and then it's fine.
Jesus kind of hinted differently.
When he talked about John.
He said of those born of woman, which means from after Adam on there was no one greater.
But the least in the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God is greater than John.
By implication if Jesus says somebody is least means there's somebody greater and somebody better an in whatever.
I'm pretty sure that the disciples kind of caught up on this because they heard that statement.
And then even though many more fishermen and tax collectors and whatever they had ambitions.
Hanging out with Jesus.
Talking about the Kingdom.
So their ambitions if you will is to rise in that Kingdom to have some kind of say or authority.
But Matthew 18.
Jesus deals with that.
Is at that time the disciples came to Jesus and said? Who then is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven now if Heaven was the Great Communist.
Place in the Sky, then Jesus would have simply said. You guys you got it wrong.
No point in just get there.
As the old southern statement even if you get there by the skin of your teeth. You just get there.
That's the only ambition you need to have, but Jesus doesn't do that Jesus starts to teach them how.
And he called a child to himself.
And he said in before them and said truly.
When you hear Jesus a trick as Jesus doesn't lie.
So when he says truly as my little.
Paraphrase this is on the test this is important what I'm going to say is just not for me. Flapping my gums pay attention truly. I say to you unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now First off Jesus is saying, you may have as your ambition to be great in Kingdom in the Kingdom.
But you gotta get there 1st.
Is it doesn't matter how great you? Think you could be in the Kingdom if you're not in there? It just doesn't matter.
So he says you need to be converted which means you need to be changed. You need to be born again. You need to become a child of God. You need to be different than you are, and that is what God does you need to change. You need to be converted and then he says it needs to be like children, now in our culture. Unfortunately, we kind of missed the boat when it comes to when he says about children.
Because we do everything for the children. We just love the children so much. We know there's even politicians will say that all the Russian nuclear weapons are pointed our children going to hang around children, which means they're kind of pointed at me too. But it's always about the children and we're always talking about the children and then we have this bad thought that children are somehow innocent that children are somehow just these wonderful fuzz balls.
All you have to be is be around them and no that's not true.
Starting off with their birth.
Now, if they were this wonderful lovable fuzzball who never cared about anything.
About themselves, they would say you know, I'm hungry and I need to be changed.
But Mom is had a really hard night.
She need your sleep.
So I want to be here. I'm just gonna lay here another four, five hours, so she can get some sleep and then she can feed me and changed me. That's not what babies do they cry and they cry and they cry until you get up and you do? What it is they want you to do it's about me.
Children are not all that innocent.
You do not need to teach children how to lie.
They quickly decide.
That I would rather disguise and cover up what happened, then to admit what happened.
Now good parents will then say look at, I'm going to teach you that line is worse than doing whatever it is that you did so you always and we we?
But it doesn't come naturally, they're not innocent they are born sinners.
No one teaches them that.
But Jesus is talking about is being children is in that society at.
First off they had no rights.
The father is specially could just take them out and we're not have to answer to any authority.
They were considered almost as if the parents property.
They also required provision and protection.
It was a parents who provided for them provided shelter and clothing and protected them and what Jesus is saying, is you need to look at God your father that way that you are wholly dependent on him for your provision for your protection for your covering for your leading for your guidance if you are like that, then you will be right.
Whoever then humbles himself as this child when he he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven now.
I want you to notice something very significant here.
Notice Jesus doesn't say.
If you do something.
You will be the greatest in the Kingdom.
He didn't say if you become a pastor of a multiple thousand member church.
And you're on television and people just think you're the most wonderful speaker and that they just want to hang around you and you're just awesome, he didn't say that.
He didn't say if you go on a missionary journey to China or or India.
Or your next door neighbor, he doesn't say what it is that you do.
Now in earthly circumstances.
How we acquire our ambition is what we do?
And Unfortunately often times, not only what we do, but those who have the authority over us deciding to advance us so it's not only what you do, but who you know.
Jesus never says if you want to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
And all too many believers.
Passers included think that if they just do enough somehow God will be impressed that is almost like God needs them and therefore they will advance in the Kingdom of Heaven and Jesus never teaches that he teaches not what you do for who you are.
You are too humble yourself.
As a child.
You're not the man you're right 'cause you don't got any.
You're not to be independent here to be dependent on God.
There is not one person sitting here today. Not one person who hears this message. I don't care where you're under 9 or over 90.
You can still be even greater in the Kingdom of heaven than you are now.
Because it's not well into old fine pray.
Sea Doo be humble, you don't even need anybody to be humble, you just.
so those of us who are proud of being humble and then didn't kind of features, though.
It doesn't take a lot of energy.
To be, but Jesus wants you to be.
First, five new ever receives one such child in my name receives me.
But whoever comes
I'm sorry, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Maine to stumble.
It would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Jesus is going to tell us 2 things.
We are to humble ourselves as children. An we are to receive each other as Jesus.
Now, most of us when we think of revival.
We think of having some great speaker some charismatic speaker who preaches Hellfire and damnation and scalars. The hell out of us and have it into US.
And we and that's what we're looking for.
Could you imagine? How revival might break out?
If every member of the church.
Jesus lives in you?
Hide for you.
And I'm going to treat you as I would if you were Jesus.
And forgive me when I haven't done that.
Now, if we were to do that. I don't think we need to Hellfire damnation preacher.
I think the spirit of God was overwhelmed this place.
Because we would actually be following the teachings of Jesus.
But he also says.
You can humble yourself and you can gain in the ranking of the Kingdom.
But here are some things to avoid.
Do not cause.
The little ones that young and faith to stumble.
Any any make some pretty bad says the same thing is if you take it be better, so causing somebody to stumble.
Is worse than if they tide around your neck a millstone millstone is not a Little Rock? It was something that oxen would circle and grind.
We or barley or whatever and they said it would be better if that was tired around you and they threw you into the sea and you drowned a tearable.
In an interesting that sometimes we have no regard or whether we cause someone to stumble.
And yet Jesus takes that very, very seriously.
So we gain ranking in the Kingdom.
By being as children.
We can lose ranking.
Our brothers and sisters.
He's going to go on and say in verse Seven woe to the world because it stumbling blocks.
Or it is inevitable disturbing blocks come.
The world has tumbling blocks remember I talked about ambition. We have ambition and So what it is that many people do they say well.
Once I finish my education, then I'll get active for God.
Well, I got my degree, but you know, I gotta get a good job.
And so after I get a good job then I'll serve the Lord.
And then while you know, I got a good job. But they expect me to work. Saturdays and Sundays and do all of these things and I gotta impress the boss. And so once I've acquired the position that I want to be at then I can serve God.
Well, now, I have so many responsibilities that then I gotta provide for all these people who work for Maine and if I'm not working for them, then then there's a problem and so after I retire.
I'll work for God.
And then you know.
All those times when I wanted to go to Italy and China and all these different places that I didn't get to go 'cause. I was so ambitious after I've had a chance to see the world and then I'll serve God.
Well, you know now I have cancer and you know it. The chemo is it makes me sick and I just but if God heals me from this cancer, then I will serve God.
The world has all kinds of reasons for us not to serve God.
As I say
I have never met anybody.
On their deathbed, who say I wish I would have spent one more day at the office.
It's funny how facing eternity.
Causes us to really see.
But the value and what's eternal.
A great mistake is letting the world cause us to stumble.
And not serve God.
So it Jesus the world out there to cause you to someone the last thing the world wants you to do is is to serve the Lord.
And some of our brothers would be to say out be on fire for God.
Part of it because wanted don't believe and 2:00. If you actually do that. Then they have to consider whether they should do it or not.
So they feel much more comfortable if you don't, either so the world just doesn't want us to do that.
But then it Jesus goes on says, but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes.
We will be held accountable.
If we've not allowed our brothers and sisters to be the type of Ministers.
And believers that they were meant to be.
What are you?
Who caused the stumbling blocks?
And that Jesus is going to say something, I'm going to read it.
And I find it interesting how the commentaries really like to dismiss what Jesus about to say.
If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble cut it off and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life crippled or Lane.
Then to have 2 hands or 2 feet and be cast into the internal fire.
If your eye causes you to stumble pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with your eye without your eye with one eye.
And I have 2 eyes and be cast into fiery Hill.
Now all the commentaries want to say that this is this is an overstatement by Jesus to get us to understand the magnitude of it.
I don't believe that.
I believe Jesus is totally serious.
But I want you to see what he says because most of us think Oh if I cut off my arm or my hand.
heap main saved 'cause I won't sin.
Notice he doesn't say that.
He says if your hand causes you to send so that you do not enter into life. It is better, so it is better to lose a hand and have eternal life, then have a whole body.
And Go To Hell.
Now I think Jesus used those parts of the body 'cause. We're Oh my gosh. I would never want to lose my hand.
You got to be kind of Demented to cut off your hand right so Jesus camping at know Jesus is being serious. However, how many times has your hand actually cause you to sin.
And your mind.
That corrupts the hand.
It is the heart and the mind that tells the hand to go where it shouldn't go.
It is the heart and the mind that causes the eye to see what you shouldn't see.
But Jesus is saying.
Kind of in the office when Jesus told his disciples.
What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?
I believe this is the flip side of that same and by saying what does it profit you to keep what you have?
And not gain in our life.
So I don't think this is overstatement. I also don't think Jesus ain't OK will go out there and cut your hand.
I will tell you this in case you're thinking pastor. Josean was go off and and cut your enter and this is what I want you to do 1st.
In your avoidance is thin. I want you to pray and suffer so that you sweat drops of blood.
And never having done that. Give me a call or an email and will talk about the rest.
But most of us never sweat drops of blood fighting since.
We just give into it.
But it is a very important question to say.
What am I willing to hold onto?
And not gain eternal life.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones for I say to you, that there Angels in Heaven continually see the face of my father, who is in heaven.
Now from this passage there a lot of people so this means you have Guardian Angels. You don't have Guardian. Angels there's a big fight about it.
I don't know.
Quite frankly I don't care.
I don't care if I have a Guardian Angel or not no, I don't care.
Because my God knows the number of hairs on my head.
He knows my rising up and my setting and then nothing can happen without his permission and I don't care if I have a Guardian Angel or not if you want to assign me one wonderful if he doesn't want to sign me one wonderful.
Is whether they see the face of God continually?
The scripture say that I can come to the throne of Grace and find help and Grace in time of need.
So if you love Angels wonderful.
I do know that the scripture say that.
Lesson in the sight of the Lord is the death of his holy ones, and he sends his Angels to gather them.
I've said this before you notice the next verse has a bracket, which means some of the older manuscripts don't have this verse.
So as I tell you if you see a bracket don't get theology from it, but I also think this will bracket weather blogs are not kind of a statement that's true for the son of man has come to save that which was lost.
And that's why it game.
So whether it's there or not I don't know.
It is not an untrue statement.
But again, you notice if you want to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Do not despise.
Or at least in your opinion the least.
In the Kingdom of God.
I heard a a I hate these are word story because story kinda seems like it's a.
Once Upon a time.
A narative an event.
There was a church that wanted.
A speaker to come and preach at their service.
And there was this particularly famous preacher that they wanted.
He said no.
But I'll send another young man and he's excellent and you should take him to go no. No, we want you and there was this back and forth and finally the this famous.
Preacher said I'm not coming.
You want this young man, you're gonna have him, you don't have him, then you have nobody.
So reluctantly they took the young man.
And he came back.
This young man's name was Billy Graham.
And he came back to the password sent him he said. Well, how did it go?
And Billy Graham said it didn't go very well.
Those what happened goes only one person came to the Lord.
Here's what did you take did write down his name, he goes? Yes, I did.
'cause, who was it says his name was Warren Worms to be now. For those of you who haven't gone to Bible college or having gotten certain commentaries. You don't know who that guy is that guy has written a number of various commentaries.
He does a lot of be like be faithful be whatever.
He accepted the Lord.
The Billy Graham thought didn't go well.
How many things do we do in our ministry to think don't go well?
And yet have an impact on the lives of others. Here's This person who wrote various who many pastors read and used.
it didn't go well.
Whatever God causes to happen.
And Billy Graham dim save that individual God did.
Are use Billy Graham's presence for the spirit too?
And then the Holy Spirit used that man to impact others.
So when you're teaching children in Bible study.
And they're not paying attention.
They probably are more than you think.
When you're teaching adults and they seem to want to be talking about other things, other than whatever you may be having a greater impact than you think.
You may be sitting in this church or another church.
living I took a vacation. We went to Chicago, an we ask the Lord to send this to a little church.
The sure sure we went to an East side of Chicago.
Used to be a large church.
The problem was.
In Chicago, they had a number of.
Aviation jobs and whatever and a bunch of people from the South came up to Chicago and started a Southern Baptist Church.
And this other thing was that they did not impact the community.
Is after all those people went home to retire?
This church living I afraid to go to.
Had a total of 12 people.
Counting Libyan me.
Even that little church.
And that little church had adults.
And that little church could be used by God, because God doesn't choose the number of people. He chooses whom he chooses who are willing to do what he chooses an even if you decide that you don't want to talk to Jonah when you get to heaven.
Talk to Paul when he's knocked off his horse.
And I'm sure when God chose pool there a whole lot of people. But God he persecuted the church. He was there when Steven was stoned to death and he approved it and you're using him and God knows I don't need your advice.
Where were you I spoke?
The world into exist.
And then along with this importance.
Of that which seems to be insignificant Jesus continues.
What do you think?
If any man has 100 sheep.
And one of them has gone astray.
Does he not leave the 99 on the mountains and go and search for the one that is strain?
If it turns out that he finds it truly. I say to you. He rejoices over it more than the 99 which have?
Not gone astray.
So it is not the will of your father, who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
It's not the number of people who come to the Lord.
It's the little one.
I left heaven.
It was sent by my father to seek those who've gone astray.
'cause there mine.
And I will search for them and I will find them and I will bring them home.
And if that's God's business and if we are children of God, then we need to be in the family business.
And the family business is finding the little ones protecting the little ones seeing the little ones as Jesus.
For the little ones.
And to become.
Those little ones.
You see God hates pride.
But he will exalt the humble.
Bad choice of words.
Well use it anyway, I'll bet.
There are going to be a number of TV evangelists.
And pastors of large churches who built great cathedrals.
Who gone to one church that was small and built it and then gone to another church that was fallen builted and gone to another church in smaller bills had one day come to the Bema seat.
I bet they're going to think.
Bring on the rewards.
And Jesus may say to them.
In my vernacular you May.
Made it by the skin of your teeth because you were converted.
I won't choose a place because if I choose a place you'll say I'm being.
You get to rule someplace that none of us, want to be at.
Then there will be a little old lady.
It won't be a little lady market, she's in heaven.
Nobody ever knew.
Nobody knew her name.
Nobody really knew what she did.
And that Jesus will talk about her faithfulness.
Her life of prayer.
It showed Jesus.
And everything she did, and everything she said.
And everything that she wanted.
And he will say.
You good and faithful slave.
You are faithful in a few things.
I give you North America.
Rule and reign 4000 years.
Because you increased in the ranks.
Of the Kingdom.
'cause you are a little child.
You saw everyone that you came in contact as me.
You treated everyone who came in contact as if it were me and you love them the way I love people.
And you love them the way you love me.
Again Can you imagine how?
Revival would break out.
If not only that I follow Jesus commandment that I love you. The way he loved you and gave himself for you.
But you Can you imagine how I would love you? Is if I loved you as if you were Jesus?
Description says wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, there, he is.
So I believe he's sitting in the front row.
He's gonna say OK pastor. Joe yeah, give you 200 speaking ability, but my spirit did whatever my spirited whatever.
When we come into this place we should come not only expecting that Jesus is present.
But that Jesus is present because if there's anyone here who's even struggling in their faith, but have faith is Jesus?
From the inside out.
I can't make my hand love you.
For the love of Jesus could make my heart mind love.
My determination my ambition may not make my eyes, not go where they should go.
With the love of God.
And if we are so.
Desirous of being ambition ambitious in this world, which let's face it.
You win, you get to be.
Emperor of the world.
You still die.
You're still subject to the king of Kings and Lord of Lords.
our ambition. I'm not saying, You shouldn't desire to have good things, not saying turn off the desiring live a hermit life.
I'm saying if you're so ambitious you want to be president of the United States.
And maybe you should think that same ambition and say, I want to be significant in the Kingdom.
Will not last?
But this last for eternity.
All God's People said.