Would We Have Believed Them?
A. HAD WE LIVED IN THEIR DAY, HOW WOULD WE HAVE RECEIVED JOHN THE BAPTIST, PETER OR PAUL?
B. MOST OF US WOULD SAY, "OF COURSE, FOR WE RECEIVE THEM NOW!"
1. But maybe that is because what they taught has become socially acceptable.
2. More often than not, their teaching is presented in a non-offensive manner
3. But how was the truth originally presented? By what manner of men?
C. IF WE HAD BEEN THERE, WOULD WE HAVE RECEIVED THEM?
A. PREACHED IN THE WILDERNESS, FORCING PEOPLE TO OUT TO HEAR
HIM( Matt. 3:1-2 ).
B. DRESSED HIMSELF CRUDELY AND ATE BUGS( Matt. 3:4 ).
C. COURAGEOUS AND SOMETIMES HARSH ( Matt. 11:7-8; 3:5-7 ).
D. I DOUBT WE WOULD...
1. IF we balk at having to travel some distance to study God's Word!
a. As is sometimes the case today (e.g., going twice on Sundays, etc.)
b. But consider what Jesus taught in Matt. 12:42.
2. IF we tend to judge people by the clothes they wear!
a. It is easy to be affected by the "Dress For Success" philosophy
b. But we need to remember God's perspective( 1 Sam. 16:7; Jas. 2:1-4 ).
3. IF we get upset or offended when a preacher points out our faults!
a. Some would have preachers never preach "negative" sermons.
b. Jesus knew some occasions call for strong measures( Matt. 23:13-15 ).
A. PETER'S LACK OF EDUCATION AND REFINEMENT SHOWED( Acts 4:13 ).
B. HE DENIED JESUS THREE TIMES( Matt. 26:69-75 ).
C. HIS OPEN HYPOCRISY SPLIT THE BROTHERHOOD( Gal. 2:11-13 ).
D. IT IS UNLIKELY...
1. IF we demand a formal education of our preacher!
a. In some churches, a preacher is required to have a degree.
b. The wrong kind of learning can be a dangerous thing( 1 Cor. 1:18-29 ).
2. IF we aren't willing to forgive who fail us when they truly repent( Matt. 3:8 ).
a. The responsibility of the teacher is heavy( James 3:1; 1 Tim. 4:16 ).
b. What Jesus taught Peter about forgiveness( Matt. 18:21-22 ).
A. PAUL HAD BEEN A BLASPHEMER, A PERSECUTOR( 1 Tim. 1:13 ).
B. HE WAS NOT A FLUENT SPEAKER( 1 Cor. 2:3-4 ).
C. HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE WAS WEAK( 2 Cor. 10:10 ).
D. WE WOULD NOT HAVE KINDLY RECEIVED PAUL...
1. IF we hold a person's pre-Christian life against them!
a. Some don't believe in the power of the gospel to transform lives.
b. But consider what it did for the people of Corinth( 1 Cor. 6:9-11 ).
2. IF we don't care to hear preachers whose sermon presentation lacks "polish"!
a. Many people will not go to hear preachers who may be young,
inexperienced, or who are not eloquent.
b. Yet "smooth words and flattering speech" can oftentimes be used to
deceive( Rom. 16:17-18 ).
3. IF we tend to judge people by their physical appearance (size, weight, etc.)!
a. So people first judged Abraham Lincoln.
b. We need to remember God's perspective on things( 1 Sam. 16:7 ).
A. HOW WE RECEIVE TEACHERS TODAY IS AN INDICATION OF HOW WE
WOULD HAVE RECEIVED SUCH AS JOHN, PETER, PAUL, AND EVEN JESUS( Matt. 13:54-58 ).
B. WE MUST LOOK BEYOND THE MESSENGER TO THE MESSAGE
( 1 Cor. 2:4-5; 3:3-9 ).
C. THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION( Rom. 1:16-17 ).