Sermon Transcript – One of These Little Ones Who Believe in Me

Series B – Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, September 27, 2015 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:27The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Mark chapter 9 verses
0:3238 through 50.
0:34teacher said John
0:36we saw a man driving out demons in your
0:39name and we told him to stop because he
0:42was not one of us
0:44do not stop him Jesus said no one who
0:47does a miracle in my name can in the
0:49next moment say anything bad about me
0:52for whoever is not against us is for us
0:55I tell you the truth anyone who gives
0:57you a cup of water in my name because
0:59you belong to Christ will certainly not
1:02lose his reward and if anyone causes one
1:05of these little ones who believe in me
1:06to sin it would be better for him to be
1:09thrown into the sea with a large
1:10Millstone tied around his neck if your
1:13hand causes you to sin cut it off it’s
1:16better for you to enter life maimed than
1:18with two hands to go into hell where the
1:21fire never goes out and if your foot
1:24causes you to sin cut it off
1:26it’s better for you to enter life
1:27crippled than to have two feet and be
1:29thrown into hell and if your eye causes
1:31you to sin pluck it out it’s better for
1:34you to enter the kingdom of God with one
1:36eye than to have two eyes and be thrown
1:39into hell where their worm does not die
1:41and the fire is not quenched everyone
1:44will be salted with fire salt is good
1:48but if it loses its saltiness how can
1:50you make it salty again have salt in
1:52yourselves and be at peace with one
1:57in the name of Jesus
2:01are you guys awake
2:04let’s try that again this way yes I want
2:06to make sure we’re all here in the name
2:08of Jesus
2:10oh so much better okay I had to say that
2:14so this is an interesting text
2:17um in fact this is just one of those
2:19bizarre texts I mean you we all know
2:21it’s kind of the major feast days in in
2:23Christianity as far as our our church
2:26year goes we got Easter we’ve got
2:29Christmas we got Good Friday I’m
2:31thinking that we need to adopt the
2:32amputation Sunday that’s what today
2:35should be apparently this is all about
2:36cutting off particular portions of your
2:39body and entering life maimed rather
2:42than going to hell well there’s a
2:44context in which that appears and no we
2:46will not be pulling out the hedge
2:48clippers at the end of the service just
2:49want to make it make you aware of that
2:51let’s take a look at what’s going on
2:53here it’s easy to kind of miss this
2:55our text begins John says to Jesus
2:59teacher we saw someone casting out
3:01demons in your name we tried to stop him
3:05because he was not following us or not
3:08one of us now I don’t know what it is
3:11with the disciples the casting out of
3:13demons thing is all of a sudden become
3:15like a football game okay now if you
3:17remember the last time the disciples
3:18tried to score with the Demonic football
3:20they well fumbled on the one yard line
3:22and weren’t able to score okay remember
3:24they went to cast out the demon and the
3:26demon said no I’m not going anywhere and
3:30of course Jesus had to step in and get
3:31rid of that one and said that one only
3:33goes out by prayer so now demons are
3:35once again the issue but now we’ve got
3:38something interesting going on
3:40we have a man an unnamed man at that who
3:44has cast out demons in the name of Jesus
3:48and he’s not been to Seminary
3:52he’s not one of the twelve he’s not one
3:55of the 70s who’s authorized this guy to
3:58go around casting out demons in the name
4:00of Jesus
4:02he hasn’t appeared before the synodical
4:06he has not been examined
4:09how on Earth is he doing this and so we
4:11told him to stop
4:13okay and notice that Jesus does not say
4:16good job boys how dare that guy step out
4:20in faith trusting in my name without
4:23authorization from headquarters or the
4:26pope and cast out demons that’s not what
4:28Jesus said is it now by the way
4:31there is another story in the Bible in
4:35Acts chapter 19 of people who tried to
4:38cast out demons in Jesus name but they
4:40didn’t have faith and which is kind of
4:42an important thing how did this guy cast
4:44out these demons well he had Faith he
4:46had simple
4:48childlike faith in Jesus
4:51and that’s how he was able to cast out
4:53the demon he did it by faith Jesus did
4:54it but Jesus did it through him because
4:56the guy had Faith now let me recount for
4:58you the story from Acts chapter 19
5:00starting at verse 11 of some people who
5:03tried exorcism
5:05without actually believing in Jesus that
5:07will never go well for anybody by the
5:09way and so the context begins at verse
5:1111. here’s what it says God was doing
5:13extraordinary Miracles by the hand of
5:16so that even handkerchiefs or aprons
5:18that had touched his skin were carried
5:19away to the sick and their diseases left
5:22them and evil spirits came out of them
5:24now a little aside here there are
5:28televangelists today who will sell you a
5:31prayer hanky if you send them a seed
5:34don’t buy that you know they say see
5:37what could happen right here so the
5:39Apostle Paul did this that means I can
5:40do it yeah they’re not the Apostle Paul
5:42you know prayer hankies are not some
5:44kind of a Sacrament some kind of an
5:46ongoing thing so the person saying that
5:49they’ll send you a prayer hanky that
5:50they’ve prayed over yeah save your money
5:53because the theology there is is that
5:55God’s going to bless you if you send
5:58them a seed offering see the problem
6:00nowhere in scripture we told that God’s
6:02going to bless us if we send a seed
6:03offering to a televangelist that’s what
6:05we call a Ponzi scheme all right back to
6:08our text
6:09so here’s what it says next then some
6:12itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to
6:16invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over
6:19those who had evil spirits now notice it
6:21says they’re Jewish exorcists doesn’t
6:22say they’re Jewish converts they’re
6:26guys who don’t believe Jesus is the
6:29so they’ve run into a problem they have
6:31somebody who needs to have a demon
6:33exercise from them and so they decided
6:36Well you know nothing that we’re trying
6:37is working why don’t we try casting out
6:40this demon in the name of Jesus and
6:43here’s what happens
6:45they undertook to invoke the name of
6:48Jesus over the those who had the evil
6:49spirits and they said I adjure you by
6:52the name of Jesus whom Paul proclaims
6:54this is what they said get out of this
6:57guy so seven sons of a Jewish high
6:59priest named skiva were doing this
7:02but the evil spirit answered them and
7:05this is the big uh-oh moment
7:07Jesus I know Paul I recognize
7:10but who are you
7:14and you can hear the air leaving the
7:17and now here’s what happens so the man
7:19in whom was the evil spirit leaped on
7:22them mastered all of them overpowered
7:25them so that they fled out of that house
7:27naked and wounded
7:29seven guys just got a licking by a
7:32demon-possessed dude and this became
7:34known to all the residents of Ephesus
7:36both Jews and Greeks and fear fell upon
7:39all of them and the name of the Lord was
7:41extolled so notice here
7:43we have
7:45well people who don’t believe in Jesus
7:48trying to cast out demons and that’s not
7:50going to go well because they don’t have
7:52faith but here we hear from our texts
7:55that there was a guy casting out demons
7:58without authorization at that and what’s
8:01successful in doing so which tells us
8:03this he has faith in Christ
8:09that’s it so you know what that makes
8:11him it makes him your brother it makes
8:15him one of us and so Jesus then goes on
8:19say this he says don’t stop him
8:23for no one who does a mighty work in my
8:25name will be able soon afterward to
8:28speak evil of me for the one who is not
8:31against us is for us
8:34now this requires some careful exegesis
8:39Jesus is not here saying that doesn’t
8:42matter what church you go to What
8:44doctrine they teach as long as somebody
8:47says the name of Jesus somewhere that
8:49that’s all that matters that’s not what
8:50Jesus is saying here notice he’s saying
8:52whoever is not against us
8:54all right and let me give you a cross
8:57reference then a cross reference to this
8:59would be luke 11 23 where Jesus says
9:02whoever is not with me is against me
9:06whoever does not gather with me scatters
9:11so here’s the idea and this is one that
9:15helps us in understanding how do we
9:17relate to our Christian brothers and
9:18sisters who attend other churches
9:21right if they have true faith in Christ
9:25for the Forgiveness of their sins
9:28and they trust that Jesus alone saves
9:32them not their works but Jesus only they
9:35truly believe in him
9:37they’re your brother and sister in
9:39Christ we are to be at peace with them
9:42in that sense we’re not to be against
9:44them as long as they’re not against us
9:46so the idea here is is that this is
9:49calling for kind of an expansive view of
9:51Christian Unity but that also does not
9:54negate the importance of sound Doctrine
9:56does that make sense so this guy he’s
10:00you just have to think of him as a baby
10:02Christian has he been trained in all the
10:04finer points of Christian doctrine
10:06absolutely not
10:08but he trusts in Christ and Jesus even
10:11goes on to state that he says this
10:14whoever for truly I say to you whoever
10:16gives you a cup of water to drink
10:18because you belong to Christ will by no
10:20means lose his reward whoever causes one
10:24of these little ones who believe in me
10:27to sin it would be better for him if a
10:29great Millstone were hung around his
10:31neck and he were thrown into the sea
10:33notice that that’s in the context
10:35Jesus’s statement there whoever causes
10:38one of these little ones who believe in
10:39me to sin that’s in the context of
10:41should we stop this guy from casting out
10:46so notice the sin there that’s then
10:48being referred to the sin that Jesus is
10:51immediately thinking about is the sin of
10:55telling a Christian brother or sister
10:56what you’re doing is not the work of God
11:01stop what you’re doing you need our
11:05you see what I’m saying
11:07that would be to make this guy start to
11:10question and doubt his own faith in
11:13as if somehow well I didn’t realize I
11:15had to be worthy to believe in Jesus and
11:19to exercise Authority or do a good work
11:20in his name
11:22you see you don’t want to do that in
11:26Jesus makes that very clear here when he
11:29makes it clear that those whoever
11:31believes in him is one of his little
11:33ones and by the way that’s you and me
11:35we’re all his little ones and notice how
11:38jealously Jesus
11:40guards and protects and threatens those
11:43who would cause his little ones to sin
11:45important thing for us to keep in mind
11:48now this does not negate the importance
11:51of sound Doctrine this does not negate
11:53what scripture also teaches that we are
11:56to not welcome
11:58those who preach false Doctrine
12:01scripture is very clear on this and let
12:03me give you a couple of passages to kind
12:04of back this up so the idea here is this
12:06is not saying well that means it doesn’t
12:08matter what anybody believes no no no
12:10that’s not what Jesus is saying okay
12:13second John
12:15second John verses 1 through 11.
12:19the Apostle John writes to a lady who is
12:23called to the Elder and to the elect
12:25lady and her children elect lady here
12:28would be um this is a lady who has a
12:32church that meets in her home now back
12:35before Christianity was legal
12:37back in the early days of Christianity
12:39when the apostles were still on the
12:41earth the Roman authorities kind of
12:42thought that Christianity was a sect of
12:44Judaism but they didn’t have property
12:46they didn’t have churches like we have
12:48today they’d have facilities they can go
12:51to that were permanent specifically
12:53dedicated for worship space and so the
12:56church would meet in the catacombs they
12:58would meet in off places they would
13:00oftentimes if there was a wealthy
13:02benefactor who had a home who had a
13:04courtyard or a big enough place where a
13:06few people can gather they would meet in
13:07their home and so John is writing to a
13:10lady who’s where a church meets in her
13:13home and he says this to the Elder to
13:16the elect lady and her children whom I
13:18love in the truth and not only I but
13:20also all those who know the truth
13:21because of the truth that abides in us
13:24and will be with us forever grace mercy
13:27and peace will be with us from God the
13:28father and from Jesus Christ the father
13:31son and true love
13:32I Rejoice greatly to find some of your
13:35children walking in the truth just as as
13:38we were commanded by the father and now
13:41I ask you dear lady not as though I were
13:43writing to you a new commandment but the
13:45one we have had from the beginning that
13:47we love one another
13:48and this is love that we walk according
13:51to his Commandments this is the
13:52Commandment just as you have heard from
13:54the beginning so that you should walk in
13:56it for many deceivers have gone out into
13:59the world those who do not confess the
14:02coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh such
14:05a one is the deceiver and the AntiChrist
14:09watch yourselves so that you may not
14:11lose what we have worked for but may win
14:14a full reward everyone who goes on ahead
14:17and does not abide in the teaching of
14:20Christ does not have God whoever abides
14:24in the teaching has both the father and
14:27the son if anyone comes to you and does
14:29not bring this teaching do not receive
14:31him into your house in this context
14:33that’s referring to the church if
14:34somebody does not believe this Doctrine
14:36you don’t receive them in the church
14:37don’t give him a greeting in the church
14:39for whoever greets him takes part in his
14:42Wicked works
14:45so the idea is this Doctrine matters
14:48those who are bringing false Doctrine we
14:50don’t welcome them here at our church we
14:52don’t give them the pulpit
14:55and we have to oppose false Doctrine and
14:59so you’ll notice here that Jesus in Luke
15:0111 like I said whoever is not with me is
15:04against me whoever does not gather with
15:06me scatters so the one who is against
15:09Christ is the one who is against the
15:11teaching of Christ for Jesus says if you
15:14love me you will keep and guard my word
15:18the one who is against Jesus doesn’t
15:21keep doesn’t guard Jesus’s words but
15:23throws it off to the side and replaces
15:26it with their own words we are to be
15:28careful about these people
15:30but that does not mean that we do not
15:32recognize that outside of this
15:35congregation outside of the aalc outside
15:38of confessional Lutheranism that there
15:40are Christians everywhere
15:42in all kinds of churches
15:45and oftentimes we refer to those who are
15:49Christians who attend a church where the
15:51truth is not clearly taught we call that
15:54we the term we use is we call it the
15:57felicitous inconsistency
15:59they go to church and they’ll say well
16:01you know I didn’t necessarily agree with
16:03what the pastor said I just believe that
16:06Jesus bled and died for my sins that’s
16:08all I know I don’t know what he was
16:10talking about it’s this weird thing and
16:12some of you come out of churches that
16:14you spent some time in where the truth
16:16was not taught no ultimately you needed
16:18to leave
16:20and for us to say you weren’t Christians
16:22when you were there would have been
16:23unChristian of us
16:25because you simply trusted Christ even
16:29in the midst of all the false Doctrine
16:31you were being taught you simply taught
16:33trusted Christ so the idea here is we
16:35must recognize that Christians are
16:38attending good churches bad churches and
16:41Truth matters and Truth divides so on
16:44the one hand paradoxically we are to
16:47preach the truth rebuke those who teach
16:49false Doctrine and at the same time that
16:52rebuke should not
16:54make that person question whether they
16:56are a Christian if they’re truly
16:58trusting Christ that’s to cause a little
17:01one of Christ to stumble and we don’t
17:02want to do that so our rebukes and our
17:05Corrections and our challenges
17:07doctrinally must be salted with the
17:10gospel and that’s what Jesus is talking
17:13about when he gets to the psalm but I’m
17:14getting ahead of myself so Watch What
17:16Happens Jesus gives kind of a four-fold
17:18warning about causing a Believer to
17:22he said it would be better for him if a
17:25millstone were hung around his neck and
17:26he were thrown into the sea Jesus
17:29understood how the mafia would operate
17:30long before the mafia was around okay
17:34and if your hand causes you to sin
17:36cut it off it’s better for you to enter
17:38life crippled and with two hands to go
17:40into hell to the unquenchable fire now
17:43notice that the context in which Jesus
17:45is saying this
17:47right so here’s the idea if you want to
17:50get to it the sin that’s being talked
17:52about here is control freakinish you
17:55know our our sinful Adam we’re all
17:57control freaks we want to be in control
17:59and we want to even control those who
18:03are all claiming to be Christians we
18:04want to have control over them and what
18:06they’re doing and they have to come to
18:08seek our approval to do what they’re
18:10doing Jesus said
18:12right that’s causing them to stumble
18:13it’d be better if you were had the mafia
18:16kill you in the river it would be better
18:18for you to cut off your hands or your
18:21feet or gouge out your eyes which by the
18:24way cutting off members of your body
18:26isn’t going to solve the problem
18:28it really isn’t and Jesus is really not
18:31literally telling you to do this
18:33there was a Church Father by the name of
18:35origin and he had well a problem with
18:40he lusted after women that were well not
18:43his wife
18:44and so his solution to the problem was
18:47to take this passage literally and he
18:49made himself into a eunuch
18:52and shock of all shocks it didn’t solve
18:55the problem
18:57and here’s the reason why because sin
18:59doesn’t start in your hand doesn’t start
19:01in your feet sin doesn’t begin in your
19:05sin begins in your heart
19:07that’s the seed of sin
19:10and so each of us
19:12Jesus says everyone will be salted with
19:14fire and what is the salt that he’s
19:17talking about there it’s the salt of the
19:20and the fire hears the fire of the Holy
19:23it is the gospel that teaches us despite
19:26the fact that our sinful heart causes
19:28our hands and feet and eyes to sin
19:31that Christ has bled and died for all of
19:33our sins
19:34he calls us to repent to recognize our
19:37weakness to recognize our Tendencies
19:39towards being a control freak
19:42to try to control even the spirit of God
19:44to repent to be forgiven and to see
19:48ourselves and all those who confess
19:50Christ as Lord and Savior who believe
19:53that they are saved by grace through
19:55faith alone to see them as Christ’s
19:58precious little ones those who believe
20:01in him we are Christ’s precious little
20:03ones and so are they even if their
20:06theology is a little
20:07off and still instead we are to love
20:10them and correct them and teach them the
20:13truth but everyone will be salted with
20:16fire and that’s the gospel salt is good
20:18but if the salt is lost it’s saltiness
20:20how will you make it salty again and the
20:22answer is you can’t saltless salt I
20:25think God likes salt by the way
20:27you’ll notice that salt makes everything
20:30have you ever tried mashed potatoes
20:32without salt
20:34what a boring experience that is right
20:38I’ve ever tried a hamburger without salt
20:40a salt is an amazing thing even God
20:43likes salt by the way because you read
20:45regarding the Old Testament sacrifices
20:47all of those animals after they were
20:49killed and before they were put on the
20:50fire you know what they had put on them
20:52salt God like salt you know there’s
20:55something going on there
20:57so salt is good but if the salt has lost
21:00its saltiness how will you make it salty
21:02so how are we as Christians salty
21:07it’s because of the Gospel the
21:10Forgiveness of sins
21:12Christians taste like no other people
21:16who are religious
21:18not because
21:20of our judgmentalism judgmentalism
21:22doesn’t make you salty
21:24what is it that makes you salty
21:26you forgive because you are forgiven
21:29That’s What Makes You salty
21:31and this is through the holy spirit that
21:33makes you salty so Jesus says have salt
21:35in yourselves
21:37and says be at peace with one another
21:40which is further proof that this is all
21:41about the gospel because how is it that
21:43we can have peace with other people
21:45quite simply because we have peace with
21:47God because of everything that Christ
21:49has done for us bleeding and dying for
21:51us being pierced for our transgressions
21:53bruised for our iniquities
21:56that is what makes us Salty The Gospel
21:59and makes it possible for us to be at
22:01peace with one another even those who
22:04haven’t been to our Seminary even those
22:07who don’t exactly believe the way we do
22:10even those who have simple childlike
22:14faith in Christ and say I don’t know
22:17about all that other stuff I just
22:18believe in Jesus
22:20somebody who understands the gospel
22:21believes the Christ is bled and died for
22:24them is not trying to earn their way to
22:26heaven or believing in a false gospel or
22:28a false Christ or a false god
22:32they’re your brother and sister
22:33regardless of which house of worship
22:35they’re in in the name of Jesus Amen
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