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Aug 25, 2019

The Relational Gospel

The Relational Gospel

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

We are to be those who serve living bread at the proper time and be found doing so when Jesus comes.

Matthew 24:3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

In Verse 4, Jesus immediately gives them 10 different signs.

  • False messiahs
  • Wars that terrorize the world
  • Famines and earthquakes

                        But these will be the beginning, then in Verse 9-14:

  • Tribulation for Christ-followers
  • Falling away (major leaders in the church)
  • Betrayal among those who claim Christ – even hatred among Christians
  • False prophets will mislead many
  • Lawlessness will increase - anarchy - refusing authority
  • Love will grow cold
  • The Gospel will be preached to the whole world and then the end will come.

India and China are among the most populated and most persecuted nations. One in nine Christians are being persecuted. Both countries are ranked as most dangerous to practice Christianity. Now Verse 25, God Himself is telling us “Behold, I have told you in advance.” He gives a warning! Verse 45, Jesus wants to find the faithful!

The first three signs are dominating the headlines. These are the beginning. The final seven then affect the world and are in play beginning with the escalation of persecution. Yet, we don’t always see it – just as in the days of Noah. Lawlessness is on the rise – anarchy – the absence of respect for authority. Love grows cold – the rise of social dysfunction, the destruction of the family and marriages, all point to a chill that is increasing.

The Gospel being preached in the whole world and there are still those that are unreached. The Gospel is expanding as we can’t explain and also being shut down as anti-conversion laws are passed. 80% of the world population has access to some part of the Bible. 

The challenge of the church is to not be that church. Warning: Matthew 24:42 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Jesus is speaking to the church. Verse 45, We are to be those who serve living bread at the proper time and be found doing so when He comes. Our response needs to be fresh instead of relying on our old answer. What am I doing that will make a difference today? How does the church of Jesus Christ become salty again in a world that is increasingly hostile? Is our love growing cold?

There are two kinds of gospel:

  • A Rational - behavioral gospel. The one where we are challenged to change our thinking and behavior and have a rational understanding of what The Word says. We argue about behavior, sin, heaven and hell. We call out how much reading of the Bible we do and how many verses we know. Then we hang out with people like us (not holy like us) but those who point to others doing wrong.

            Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. They rallied together. Verse 35-36 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? Verse 37-40 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” 

“Depend” is correctly defined as “hang.” The Message version says it this way, Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

Described as two pegs – pegs to hang the law. The Pharisees' rational minds were pristine because they studied the law so intently. But they missed that they were to love people the same way. A rational, behavioral gospel will do nothing but separate us from the most important thing in life. We often do the same - We want to argue about doctrine, thinking, rules . . . As long we are approaching the world, that cannot even hear God, with rational truth instead of the love of God, then we won’t get anywhere.

  • A Relational Gospel – to love God and love one another! This relational gospel will change the world as we serve as Jesus told us to. Every behavior and action depend on a relationship with God and with each other and His model of love. How does God love us? Unconditionally, by demanding nothing from us to earn His love, by forgiving us fully even when we don’t change, requiring nothing from us but giving up everything.

We can serve the Lord through right behavior and thinking, but it’s through fear. Or you can serve the Lord from love. Share the love of God unconditionally! New Braunfels is growing so fast. God put us here to love God and to love others to see His kingdom to come alive in this city and county.

These nails or pegs hold up the mirror of God’s word. We, the church, are commissioned to rehang the mirror of God's Word on the pegs of loving God and loving others. 

Ezra 9 Ezra begs God for forgiveness. Verse 8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. God gives us restoration. Jesus loves us! No matter what comes our way – God loves us. We need an Ezra moment. Confess our unlove. Ask God to redo our pegs of God’s word to reflect to a lost and dying world. Burn in our hearts a desire to receive God’s love and to give it out. 

How do we see anarchy happening today? Lawlessness and disrespect for authority?

Explain the two types of gospel. Where do you fall in sharing the gospel? 

Consider the question in Verse 45. Is your answer fresh or does it lean on your answer of the past? Matthew 24:45 Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

How can we apply this verse today? Ezra 9:8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.