Justice is Coming | Sermon Notes
We started the message with a clip from Tombstone (movie).
These western movies scratch an itch for us. They show us gross injustice followed up by a person that brings swift punishment and vindication for all.
- No one likes a bully
- Young, arrogant punk needs to be set straight.
- Old, bitter abuser needs to be dealt with.
- The womanizer, the scammer, shoddy business man, the shoplifter.
We as humans love to see Justice dealt. We love firm, swift, effective Justice being served. Punishment for those deserving it. Blessings to those deserving it.
It makes us feel right and complete. When there is injustice around us, we often feel incomplete. It just doesn’t seem right. They need to be stopped. They need to be taught a lesson. They need to be punished. The victims need to be vindicated. Justice needs to be served. BUT HOW? WHO?
What injustice have you personally experienced? Who has done you wrong? Who has taken advantage of your kindness, your resources, your life? Who owes you?
These westerns are entertaining and satisfying in the sense that justice is served so effectively. However, one thing you need to remember is that is Hollywood. Fist fights and blood shed are not near as entertaining when you are involved in them. Evil is not dealt with so effectively by cops and armies.
However, I have good news for you today. God is on the throne and HE is the ultimate judge. He is perfect. He never makes a mistake.
You can rest assured today that God will have the final say in whatever shortcoming you have experienced.
You can trust God today that He will take care of you. He will heal your wounds now. He will make sure that anything that needs to happen will happen. You can rest.
Evil exists in the world. It infiltrates the all parts of creation: trees, weather, animals, weeds, and people. Not just groups or sets of people, but evil affects every person on in the creation.
The beautiful, perfect creation of God was defaced. Instead, of God scrapping it, he decided to set it right. To save it. First, through a select people: Jews. Then, because God loved the world so much, he came himself and took upon himself the weight of evil. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, brought the solution to evil.
Yet, when God solves evil through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (the messiah) he allows us to continue to live on a earth that is defaced.
Humans lived for thousands of years before Christ on the earth. Now, we are living almost 2000 years after evil was dealt a powerful blow.
WHY? Why didn’t he simply end the world at the resurrection? This is mysterious. We can’t know for sure, but we can draw some conclusions. The biggest conclusions being that God really likes for other humans (besides Jesus) to participate in the redemption. He wants our original job of stewardship to be intact. In his redemption of the world, he did not completely take the reigns back from the world, instead he provides the answer and resource to deal with evil, yet allows the original plan to stay intact.
Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
This is following after the model of Jesus. He gave his life not to judge the world, but save it. (John 3)
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world (revenge, bloodshed, eye for an eye, scratching and clawing to the top), but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The world thinks we should follow after the Old testament model of returning evil for evil. Christianity offers a new model.
We are going to win by surrendering and sacrificing. We are going to win in the long run. It might look as though we are losing now. We are going to win in the long run.
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Before you start getting too judgmental, remember your own sin and shortcoming. Remembering your own sin helps keep everything in proper perspective.
Romans 12:4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Do you know what your giftings are? We want to help you with that. 3rd Sunday in July 301 – Initiate your purpose! Plug into the Body of Christ and start serving his Body.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope.
That the resurrection of Jesus fixes everything. In due season, we are going to be taken care of. Judgments from our judicial system and laws from our legislatures form a temporary boundary to evil and a temporal restriction to injustice. However, we do not get our hope from those. That is a tool from God to help in the short term. We are confident in our hope of Jesus Christ. In the meantime:
Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
There are times when people will need you to act. We need to give a safe place to those the helpless. We need to give our ear and our time.
Psalm 82:3 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. 4 Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. Focus more on providing a safe place and less on returning evil.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Martin Luther King Jr in his speech titled the Power of Nonviolence in 1957 said:
We had to make it clear that nonviolent resistance is not a method of cowardice. It does resist. It is not a method of stagnant passivity and deadening complacency. The nonviolent resister is just as opposed to the evil that he is standing against as the violent resister but he resists without violence. This method is nonaggressive physically but strongly aggressive spiritually.
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the lord. 20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance is mine. I will repay.
MLK finished his speech by saying:
There are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted to such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted as Amos who in the midst of the injustices of his day cried out in words that echo across the generation, “Let judgment run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” As maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln who had the vision to see that this nation could not exist half slave and half free. As maladjusted as Jefferson, who in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery could cry out, “All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” As maladjusted as Jesus of Nazareth who dreamed a dream of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. God grant that we will be so maladjusted that we will be able to go out and change our world and our civilization. And then we will be able to move from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.
Posted on June 15, 2015, in Sermon Notes, theology and tagged 1957, justice is coming, martin luther king jr, power of non-violence, psalm 82:3, romans 12:1, sermon notes for nonviolence, tombstone movie sermon, western movie sermon notes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.