Posts Tagged 'judgment'

A Pastor’s Response To Politics

This is an article I wrote for our church newsletter after last year’s election. I thought it might be worth capturing here.

Dear church family,

As I read through Facebook on the morning after the election, I realized I should say something. I don’t **need** to say something; there are others more eloquent than I am who have said many encouraging and hopeful things. I’m just one man.

However, I am just one man who has a responsibility to stand up for what is right. As a follower of Jesus, I am bound to follow His example. As a student of Scripture, I take seriously the promises found in the prophets that justice will roll on like waters, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24, for those of you who like to fact-check.)

I pledge that I will stand up for the poor, the oppressed, and those who are getting the short end of the stick in today’s society. Do I support sin? May it never be! But I *will* let my guts be moved with compassion for those who receive judgment from those not qualified to judge. “Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious…” because boy, oh, boy, do we need God’s graciousness right about now. (Amos 5:15 for the reference)

As a pastor, I will preach and teach and admonish and encourage our congregation (and everyone who has ears to hear) that we must be full of grace and truth, that we must put on love and put off hate (Colossians 3). We MUST be willing to move beyond business-as-usual, and demonstrate over and over and OVER AGAIN that we belong to God’s Kingdom, and we’re committed to building His spiritual work right here. We are the both the workers AND the building materials for God’s house of worship (1 Peter 2).

We must stand with the poor, be counted with the unfairly treated, loose the chains of injustice, and do all this in all humility and gentleness of spirit, for it is God’s work we are to be about (Isaiah 58:6-10).

To finally borrow once again from Amos: Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is. (5:14) Let us seek what is good together, friends.

KFJ, Pastor Ed

 Vote Jesus

Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted

Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted Sermon Audio Here

Romans 14:1-12

Ever hear of S.M.A.R.T. goals? Specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound. Should we use comparisons in our faith?

How Is Faith Measured?

Faith Works Even When Weak ~ Romans 14:1-4 small faith is still faith

  • 1 weak faith is working faith; children are weak, but their faith is real
  • 2/3 regardless of your faith stance, don’t be a snob!
  • 4/5 God is in the judging business, not us! We are SERVANTS; why would one servant judge another? None of us have that right

Faith Counts When Considered ~ Romans 14:5-9 according to your capacity

  • 5 fully convinced faith; put the work in!
  • 6 “to the Lord” a life of dedicated discipline
  • 7/8 We are not LORD of our own life
  • 9 Jesus rose again to prove His rightful place as Lord of ALL

Faith Weighed in Worship ~ Romans 14:10-12

  • 10 God’s judgment/bema seat for all (cf. Rev 20:10-15)
  • 11 Sentencing is based on this: is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life by confessing Christ through faith, and not fear?
  • 12 We are weighed (2 Cor 5:10) for what we DO…

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

  • …but we are sentenced (Rev. 20.15) by Who we KNOW

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Faith is measured, yes. But it’s measured by the Master alone, not for mere servants to split hairs and scrutinize!

The JV Team: An Unlikely Savior – Rahab

The JV Team: An Unlikely Savior – Rahab Sermon Audio Here

Joshua 2:1-6/James 2:24-26

We’ve all heard about instances where Christian leaders do something awful, and it brings shame to the whole community of faith. But have you ever considered the other side of the coin?

When Sinners Act Like Saints:

What Do Their Actions Demonstrate?
Joshua 2:1-6 When we read this story, all we specifically see in Scripture are the actions taken by Rahab.

  • But our challenge is to understand that although history judges Rahab’s actions based on faith, we might sometimes have a hard time extending that same privilege to others today. We tend to judge ourselves by our intent: by our own motivations. Since we can’t see the motivations of others, we’re stuck with viewing only their actions. And let’s be honest: don’t we tend to give ourselves a “pass” based on our internal motivations, and others a “fail” based on their mere actions when something happens that we don’t understand?

What Do Their Motivations Teach?
James 2:24-26

  • v24 this justification is not towards God, but towards others; God knows the contents of our hearts, but He’s the ONLY ONE WHO DOES; our faith must result in action for it to have meaning in God’s Kingdom
  • v25 Rahab’s example: an “unrighteous” person (based on her reputation) is CONSIDERED righteous because of her actions in God’s economy
  • v26 we cannot live in compartmentalized faith: it must be joined with real world activity to be functional and whole

If we could hear Rahab herself explaining what she might have been thinking, would it make a difference in how we understand how an “unrighteous” person can be used by a righteous God?

Practical Christianity: Who Chooses The Poor

Practical Christianity: Who Chooses The Poor Sermon Audio Here

James 2:1-17

In June 2013, the Rev. Willie Lyle, the newly-appointed pastor of the Sango United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, spent four and a half days living in the streets in the guise of a homeless man. He then transformed back into his role as pastor as he delivered a sermon: The Least Used Parts of the Body.

As Believers in Jesus,

Be Careful of your choices
James 2:1-7

  • v1/4 snap judgments are not godly
  • v5 God *loves* the poor
  • v6/7 judge this: how is Jesus’ name treated?

Be Cautious with your judgments
James 2:8-13

  • v8/11 failure to love your neighbor is sin
  • v12/13 mercy WINS over law!

Be Caring in Your Actions
James 2:14-17

  • v14/16 what is the proof of your faith?
  • v17 faith is like yeast; if it’s not alive, it has no power

Why important to not judge others? Because when we pass judgment, we override God’s job. We put OURSELVES in God’s place – that’s idolatry, and it breaks the First Commandment. You shall have no other gods before Me. INCLUDING YOURSELF.

Pastor Ed Backell

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