So, welcome. First of all, and especially Welcome to those who are maybe here for the first time we do something here called expository preaching. That means that we don't just pick a topic out of the air that we want to talk about, or we allow the the culture to kind of dictate where we want to go. We literally go in open up a book of the Bible, and we just go through it. And so when you do that, you don't have the luxury of skipping over passages that are hard to preach. or things that you don't want to go to. Right. We just, we just deal with what it says. And so last week, Pastor Andy preached a pretty tough message on repentance. And he did it because that's what Jesus was talking about. And guess what Jesus is talking about today repenting So we just want to keep on going and deal with the text. Amen. Amen. So let's meet me in Luke chapter 13. And let's stand to our feet when we get that. And we will read that together. Luke chapter 13. verses one through nine if you got it Say, Amen. Alright, let's read on the count of 3, 1, 2, 3.
There were some present at that very time, who told him about the Galileans, whose blood pilot had mingled with their sacrifices keep going.
Amen I want to title this text This is not a threat. This is not a threat.
Let's pray. Father, we are here this morning to hear your word. May You grant us open hearts, ears to hear eyes to see. May we encounter the mercy, the love and the grace of God. May we experience that this morning. Use me Oh God, I am a broken vessel. I am weak but you are strong Lord. I don't deserve to be called even a child of yours but by the grace of God I am who I am. Low we love you because you have indeed loved us first. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. You may be seated.
Have you ever asked God for forgiveness? Like really? Have you ever really, really, really really asked God for forgiveness?
Have you ever gotten to the point where you knew in your heart of hearts that you are in desperate need of forgiveness from Almighty God? Not not you forgiving yourself. Not you forgiving others for what they have done to you. I'm talking about recognizing the desperate need of forgiveness that You need from God, from your Creator.
Have you ever asked God for forgiveness? For at least 12 years of my life, I had thought I was forgiven. I thought I was a Christian. I thought I was going to heaven. I thought I had a relationship with God. I got a tattoo on my arm of Scripture from Luke 2342 that says, remember me when you come into your kingdom? I was sincere. Until that day, I opened up to Matthew chapter five. And I was confronted with my sin. And although I was sincere, I found out that I was sincerely wrong all that time. Because up until that point, I had never truly acts God for forgiveness. In other words, I had never truly repentant. Have you?
You know one of my favorite things about the scripture the Bible is its realness. I tell people this all the time. The Bible is just real. It's it's raw and this I love it. The Bible does not hide harsh realities, nor does it preach pleasant fantasies. It tells the truth. There's, there's historical record of murder, and rape and deception all in the Bible. Why? Because it's real. is honest about history and about the hope of heaven. Therefore, when Revelation chapter four says he will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore. That's not fluff. Fake or flattery, that's facts, it's real.
But just as real as that is the other parts of the Bible that teaches you will die and eternal death, suffering in hell forever separated from God unless you repent, which is exactly what Luke chapter 13 one through nine is all about, unless you repent and I want to just point out Two points from from that thought unless you repent, number one you will perish unless you repent. Number two you will be cut down. verses one through five could pretty much be summed up in a in a short question form. What do you think about you? What do you think about you?
The text begins, verse one. There was some president at that very time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood pilot had mingled with their sacrifices. Evidently, there were there were some people the Galileans who were murdered by Polly, the governor of Judah. Wow, they were offering sacrifices during the Passover. Although this is not an incident Recorded in in the Bible there is the ancient historian Josephus, who does record two events that this may be talking about. There was one time where over 2000 people were murdered, slaughtered during the sacrifices and Passover another time where 3000 people so this could be what they're bringing up but but we don't really know. We don't really know is not recorded in Scripture. But whatever the case, these Jews thought it would be a good idea to bring this up to Jesus.
But why? What was their motivation? What were they expecting from Jesus? How were they expecting him to respond? Were they trying to trap Jesus like people often did. They have sincere motivations. We actually Get a peek into what they was thinking through the way Jesus responds. And in fact, it was their thinking that was the problem. They were thinking about this all wrong.
Couple weeks ago, I saw a video on Instagram that sorta kind of famous comedian posted. He was he was very angry. And he said this, he said, help me understand. Kobe Bryant and his daughter are gone. But George Zimmerman is breathing. He said, help me understand. And all you religious people who believe in God will just say, Well, God has a plan. Well, what is the plan? And I'm watching this and I had a lot of problems with what he said. I do understand the pain behind it. But, his thinking was all wrong. That's the major problem. The question is, what's the right way to think? How are we supposed to think when we see tragedy?
According to Jesus, the the right way to think is is not to point the finger at anyone else. But the right way to think is to think about our own sin. To think about our own debt that we own, our own deserving of that same tragedy, that same suffering, our own deserving of death, in that ought to lead us to repentance.
It says, And he answered them. Do you think that these Galileans were were sinners than other Galileans because they suffered this way. You see, they thought that those Galileans must have been horrible sinners. They must have had some secret sin in their life for something, they must have brought this on themselves in some way. Because God wouldn't allow them to die not like that. It's the same thinking that Job's friends Hey, remember? The book of Job job was a very wealthy man. The Bible called him a righteous man. He loved and cared for his family. He loved and care for the community. He had everything you could ever want. He was good. And then everything bad happened in his life. Kids dying. He got disease. He covered with sores from head to toe. And all his friends could come up with was you must have done something. Something is wrong with you. You brought this on yourself in some way.
It's the same thinking as the disciples in john chapter nine, when they asked Jesus who sinned? Was it this man or his parents? Why is he born blind? Somebody did something, somebody brought this on themselves. And it's the same type of thinking that we do today. It's all really self righteous. It's all really judgmental. Some of us just know how to dress up our judgmental hearts a little better than others. Some of us are not good at all.
There was a preacher in Sacramento, when the gay club in Orlando was shot up and 49 people were killed. He said this. The tragedy is I'm kind of upset he didn't finish the job. Because these people are predators. You see, we're judgmental. We're self righteous, but we just dress it up a little better than he would. We would say, well, you know, the wages of sin is death. We would say, Well, you know, homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord.
It's as if we believe the absence of suffering means the approval of God when we know it, does not. After all, it's the very heart of our faith. That a sinless man Jesus suffered the worst. He was being mocked, stripped naked, hung up on a cross, God Himself experienced suffering. Are we willing to call Jesus a sinner? Not only a sinner but a worst sinner than someone else. God forbid. If we really knew what it meant to be a sinner, I don't think we would make that mistake. If we really understood what it was to be a sinner. A sinner is someone who missed the mark. There's a target and we missed. And when you miss you missed. Doesn't matter how close you got. Even second place is the first loser. The great Ricky Bobby said, If you ain't first, you're last. Where you missed the mark, you've missed the mark.
The Bible says, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners and I love with what Jesus does here he he asks a question but he doesn't really let them answer. It's like when the rock if anyone is a kind of old school wrestling fan, real wrestling, Dakota not that that wrestling the rock you still have these great one liners Do you smell what the rock is cooking? He was saying finally the rock is coming back. But my favorite is he would be being interviewed and he would ask the interviewer a question and As soon as they fix their lips to say something you say it doesn't matter. This is what Jesus does here. Do you think these Galileans are were sinners? No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you will likewise perish.
There's two very important words we must know here. If we're going to take Jesus serious, we need to know obviously, what does repaint me? What does it mean to perish? Repent means to change one's mind. Literally, to think differently afterwards. So after you have heard the truth, you ought to think differently. Mainly think what Jesus thinks about everything. But specifically here, think what he thinks about you. That's the right response. Change your mind to think what Jesus thinks.
Did you realize that Jesus thinks that about you? He thinks you need to repent. Which means he thinks you got something to repent about. Which means he thinks you're a sinner. Not only that he thinks you deserve to perish. What does perish means? It means to be completely destroyed. It's it's the picture of something that's supposed to be holding violently separated, and it cannot ever be put back together. Did you notice what Jesus talked about? We've been told a lot about how Jesus thinks of us. But first, we need to deal with this. He thinks we need to repent.
But you see, we miss those things because we're so we really do think Jesus came for good people. We really do think he just came to coddle us who are upstanding, law abiding citizens who do the right thing. But he did not say that. He said, I have not come to call the righteous but sinners. Paul, in First Timothy, said Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. But he adds this Of whom I am the worst.
We all need to get to the point where, where we are willing and ready to say I am the worst. Not them out there. I am the worst. I remember trying to trying to share the gospel with with some lady and she got really, really upset when I brought up sin. And she looked me dead in the face. She said, I am not a sinner. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You see what she did was she chose the part of the Bible that she likes. And the other part I don't want nothing to do with that. What about you? What about me? Are you a sinner? Let me ask it another way? Are you in debt to God?
Believe it or not, you know, that's not enough. Jesus kind of puts his foot on a gas even harder here. Because he brings up a tragedy now. They brought up the first one, he brings up this one, he says, oh, what about the 18 who the towers alone fell and killed them? Do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? You see, with the first incident that they brought up, it was a terrible thing done by by by pilot people, pilot murder those Galileans and so perhaps they thought Jesus could pick one you know, either condemned pilot or condemned the Galileans but Jesus here in his what he brings up this is more of a like a freak accident. a water tower fell and killed 18 people. So he says What about them? You think they were worse offenders and the others that were translated offender actually means a debtor, someone who is in debt. In other words, do you think they had more debt than everybody else? And that's why this happened. Some of us in here, we got more debt than others. College students hate the fact that I just brought that up. But it doesn't matter how great or Small your debt is, if the institution we own is the eternal try you. There is no hope of paying that off. So it makes no sense to be proud of having less debt than someone else. It makes no sense to be proud of being a little less of a sinner, still a sinner.
We are all in the same boat. We were born morally in debt to a holy God. So again, Jesus answered his own question. No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. By the way. You know nowadays, everybody wants to have their own truth. You got your truth, I got my truth. She got her truth. Jesus got his truth.
Notice he says, I tell you, this is me. Don't be mad at the preacher. Don't be mad at your parents. Don't be mad at those people know I am saying this unless you repent, you will likewise perish. So either we can change our mind and believe Jesus is truth or we can stubbornly hold on to our own so called truth. Have you ever asked God for forgiveness? Are you a sinner? Are you in debt? We know what it looks like when someone is truly repentant because we know what it looks like when someone apologizes to us, but they don't really apologize. They say they sorry, but they not really sorry. We all know what that looks like.
Myles Garrett is a NFL player he plays for the Cleveland Browns. And toward the middle of last year, he got suspended for the whole year with no pay. Because they got into this big fight, huge fight, where he snatched the helmet off another player, and then use the helmet as a weapon. And he actually hit the guy in the head, he didn't hit him with the crown of the helmet that could have killed the man. And when he did his the whole sports world, like a dude is never gonna play again. He'll be lucky if they don't press charges. It was bad. And so afterwards, they interviewed him And he said, I'm sorry, my emotions that have the best on me. I was wrong. About two days later, he began to justify what he did by saying, the guy called me the N word. Nobody believes him.
I'm a black man. I know that that what those feelings could be, but I don't believe them either. There's cameras all around. And during the NFL game, there's microphones. There's other players on the field. Nobody heard this except you and why didn't you say something when it first happened? He should have been yelling from the rooftops. You wait two days later to try to justify it. We don't believe you. There's no evidence for the NFL investigated. No one heard this except you and he any still holding on to that to this day. What it reveals is that he's not really sorry for what he did. He, he confessed, but he didn't turn. He admitted to being wrong, but there's a big difference in actually being remorseful to think differently, to actually bear fruit of real repentance. Which leads us to our second point, unless you repent, you will get cut down.
Jesus here uses a parable to make his point even more clear. Either you bear fruit of repentance, or you do not either there is true repentance or not. He says he says as he told this parable A man has fig tree planted in his vineyard. And he came seeking fruit on it and found that and he said to the vine dresser look for three years now and I've come seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find I cut it down. Why shouldn't use up the ground now?
When preparing for a sermon, I pray. I study the text. I try to do my due diligence. I don't want to come up here and just say anything. So I need to use Google. Got a Google feed trees. Fig trees provide shade, shelter, and warmth. But the text doesn't say he came seeking shade, shelter or warmth, he came seeking fruit. Either there is fruit, or it's not.
Let let the Bible itself make that point a little more clear. john the baptist and Luke chapter three said, bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves we have Abraham is our father, For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
The apostle Paul, Acts 26, I preach that they should repent, turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.
The Apostle John, if we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness we lie and do not live out the truth. Repentance go hand in hand with actually bearing fruit. true repentance looks like something you don't have to look over the course of your whole life. Just look at the last couple weeks of your life. How? How Jesus like has your thinking been? how Jesus like has your actions been? Are you bearing fruit of true repentance?
I brought up the Myles Garrett the NFL and if my wife was here, she would product every go. She hate football. She can't stay in the NFL. But there is two events that she doesn't mind watching with me, at least a little bit. One is the NFL Draft. And the other is a show called Hard Knocks. She don't like those shows for the same reason. She likes that during the draft, you get to see these players, these young kids get all dressed up and they they walk in the red carpet and they take them pictures and they brought the family with them and all of that. And the players only show up to the draft if they think they're going to get drafted in the first round is seven rounds to the draft right? So you don't go if you don't think you're going to get drafted in the first but they these guys go and pick one goes pick for 1724 and then there's always that one guy left in the box. Whose name did not get call? In area just like, Oh, I just want to I'm like, it's seven rounds. He's gonna get picked the next round like it's gonna be okay. She like no, but he brought his whole family and that was his dream. She just loves to be compassionate.
Same thing with the show Hard Knocks. And this show you get a behind the scenes of what goes on in training camp. You see them practicing and those who got drafted, right they trying to make the team now then there's some guys who didn't get drafted, but they kind of walked on. Right and so you get the joy of seeing following the story. This guy you know, he just proposed to his girlfriend, and he just made the team like his dreams are coming true. But then you also see the guy taking that long walk to the coach's office where he's getting cut. An Arie again. Oh he was so close. He tried so hard. I just want to hug him.
But you know there's one player on an NFL team that nobody you me none of us have compassion for not even area. That's the NFL kicker. Just make the field goal bro. You got one job. If he does not do what he's expected to do, he will get cut. We will not tolerate a kicker who does not bear fruit. We have zero patience with him.
But praise God Almighty. The he doesn't treat you and I like NFL kickers Jesus goes on and finishes up this parable he says as he answered him sir let it alone this year also just Just give me one more year one year. So I dig around it and put on my know I'm gonna work it I'm gonna fertilize it. Then if it should bear fruit next year well and good. But if not, you can cut it down.
Here is the good news of God's patients. But patients costs. It will take Jesus willingness to put in the necessary work. Before we can even have a chance to bear fruit of true repentance. Patients costs.
Second Peter three Nine says the Lord is not slow and keeping his promise as someone to stand slow, understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Patience cost verses one through seven Jesus's all gas, no brakes. But then verse eight come around and we begin to see kind of flickering red lights those red brake lights and if we were to read the rest of the Gospel of Luke we would find that that rain is actually the blood of Jesus Christ because patients cost in order for Jesus to press on the brake pad of patients if you will. His foot must go through a long, Rusty sharp nail because patients costs in other words, the cost is the cross of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, If righteousness could be gained through the law, then Christ died for nothing. If, if being right with God, if being in right standing with God, having a right relationship with God can cut through any other way.
If you can just do better, then Christ died for nothing. But you and I know that that's not true. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. God shows his love for us that even while we were sinners, Christ die for us. I am pleading with you. Repent. I am begging you. Repent, truly repent. Turn, give your life to Jesus. But that's just me. I pleading with you. I'm begging you. Jesus is not pleading. Jesus is not begging me this is not a threat. He has made himself very clear, unless you repent, you will perish. unless you repent, you will get cut down. Because yes, Jesus did die on that cross. But you better believe he didn't stay dead. He caught up with all power in all authority in his hands because he is the judge of the living and the day in one day there will be no more time, repent today.
So let me ask it slightly differently this time. When will you ask God for forgiveness? When will you repent?
Father, we are in desperate need of You. Lord, if there's anyone in here today, under the sound of my voice, who has not repented, if there's anyone who is unsure of whether They have repented. Lord, would you do a work in their heart Even now that they might turn to you, and repentance and even for us who has repented? Who who is sure that we have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Lord, let us continue a life of repentance. So that even today, we would repent. Lord, repentance is a gift from you. We don't deserve that. But we pray. Lord, we need you. We love you. We thank you. For this time and for your word. In Jesus name, amen.