In Christ, divisions are meaningless.
MARCH 2, 2022
In Christ, divisions are meaningless. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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We’re looking at Acts 10. If you’ve been with us, you know that, and we spent a long time on that cause we’ve got a big problem with which this particular chapter deals. And it’s racism and racial division and cultural barriers and the ethnic anger. And Christ has an answer to that and the talking heads do not have an answer to it. I think if one more sociologist and I have a friend who says sociology is the moral equivalent of high priest, looking at the end trails of chickens, trying to discern what’s going on. There are a lot of talking heads with a lot of what they say are answers to racial problems and they don’t know what they’re talking about. And frankly, I don’t know what I’m talking about either, but God does. And I’m a Bible teacher and I’m still studying. And I’m finding that, whoa, this is where the answers are. This is where we find hope. This is where we can come together. And there is no other place, with the inhumanity of man to man and woman to woman. With the inhumanity that goes on all the time, we will never have unity if that’s all it’s all about. But if it’s about forgiveness and redemption and repentance and being a part of the same family, you’ve got another situation going on and that will work. So, we’ve seen a number of things. We saw yesterday, how, when you become a Christian things change, you know, I remember one time, I may have told you this before, a long time ago, I was the pastor of a church in Miami area. And, a lot of different people were coming to our church. And, one of the major drug ministries in South Florida, started sending busloads of their people to our church. They were racially and culturally and economically different than the church that I was serving. And, one of the elders came into me and said, you know, I don’t like this, we’ve gotta do something about this. When I said, yeah, I’ve got the same problem. He said, I don’t, I’ve got two daughters and I don’t want them falling in love with these guys. These are not our type. And I said, I know I’ve got two daughters too. And then I said to him, but Bill (not his name) what about Jesus? And he stood there speechless and then said, and I’ll never forget this. He said, oh, spit. And he turned and walked out of the office and became one of the biggest supporters of that drug ministry in South Florida. That happens with Jesus and so I said yesterday at the close of the broadcast, that evangelism is a solution to racial division and it really is. Something happens when you come to Christ, I’m a new creation and all things are new and they really are, and I’ve seen it over and over and over again. And then I got one other thing. And that’s the last thing I’ll say about this. Acts 10, establishes a principle, but is mandatory on the Christians. And the principle says that political, cultural, national and racial differences are meaningless and insignificant in Christ. I remember when my friend and I’ve told you about him earlier this week, Jerry Parries, tremendous communicator for Christ and he’s an African American pastor, one of my best friends. And we hang out together. And, he’s pretty liberal politically. And as you know, I’m pretty conservative politically and we had leaders from our churches that were meeting together to plan these conferences. And I think you can still see some of that material on our website if you’re willing to dig for it. But as we were planning these conferences, Jerry was chairing the meeting and he looked at me and he said, you know, Brown, And I said, what? And he said, a lot of people in my community don’t share your political views. And I said, duh, I knew that. And he said, can you deal with that? I said, of course I can. Jesus is bigger than your views and my views, really true. We are one in Christ and everybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus. They’re always saying, and it drives me nuts, when we say color doesn’t matter, then the talking heads said, oh yes, it does. And it’s time we taught, no it doesn’t. If you’re in Christ, it really doesn’t. So, if you have a different color than mine and your language is different than mine and your cultural heritage is different than mine and your politics is different than mine and your friends are different than mine, come into my house. Let’s sit down. Let’s talk. Let’s love each other. Let’s be what Jesus has called us to be. You think about that. Amen.
Our differences are meaningless and insignificant in Christ. What a good word. Thank you Steve. And yes, even though tomorrow is Thursday, we will charge forward to Acts 11. Why wait, right? Be sure to join us for that. So, here’s a question. Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus is actually alive right here and active, right now. Well, Steve gave a sermon a while back called, When Jesus Leaves the Building. In that talk, he teaches from Luke 4 on what happens when Jesus is in the building. Take a listen to part of that talk, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
A number of years ago, I was invited to a church in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a Baptist church and the pastor said, Steve, we haven’t had a Presbyterian and in this pulpit since 1830, when the church was founded, you’re the first, so don’t screw it up. I said, why would you invite me? And, I mean, I don’t want to be here either you Baptists are like weeds, you’re everywhere, you can’t get rid of you. Why would you invite me? And he said, cause I’ve been listening to what you teach. You only ride one horse, but your ride it well. There was a time when that would have offended me, it doesn’t so much anymore. Things change, I’m a cynical old preacher now, and I know the truth about me and about you and about the church. When I was young, I did premarital counseling as a pastor. There were three sessions and they were old required for those who would have me officiate at their service. One of the sessions was on sex. Another of the sessions was on money. And one of them was on Jesus and his relationship to marriage. After a year and a half, I gave up the one on sex. They knew more about sex then I did. And then I looked at my bank account and how I’d messed that up and I decided I have no business talking to young people about money. Money, and sex are the two areas that caused serious problems, but they could get that from somebody else, but a clung to Jesus. And I knew a lot about him. So, I kept that lecture. So, I said, I’m old, when I was young, I thought I’d be a lot better than I am. Frankly, I thought you would be too, but we’re not. Ray Ortiz a friend of mine at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Florida. He’s in a little tiny community and I asked him why he went there and he said, I went there because I couldn’t make a difference. It was a sewer and I was going to clean up the sewer and this church almost died. And then he said, I recognize that there was a sewer, but the sewer was in me. When I saw that, when I began to teach it and be honest and authentic, then God began to do things in the church where he sent me. When I was young, I thought I would study the Scriptures and I have, I thought I would find profound new insights and I would offer them to the family of God. Now, I’m more confused than I was when I started. When I was young, I thought I would win the world to Christ. When I was young, I thought I was going to make a major difference and an impact for Christ in the world. And now, I’m old and none of those things have happened. Now, I’m old and the dreams that I had have been shattered. Now, I’m old and I look at myself and I know the truth. It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. And so, I’ve reduced and reduced and reduced the message. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
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