Sermon Transcript – The Most Dangerous Sinner of All

Series B – Third Sunday After the Epiphany – Sunday, January 25, 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:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy Gospel According to Saint Mark
0:30chapter 1 verses 14 through 20.
0:33after John was put in prison Jesus went
0:36into Galilee proclaiming the good news
0:38of God the time has come he said the
0:41kingdom of God is near repent and
0:44believe the good news as Jesus walked
0:46beside the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon
0:48and his brother Andrew casting a net
0:50into the lake for they were fishermen
0:52come follow me Jesus said and I will
0:54make you Fishers of Men at once they
0:56left their Nets and followed him when
0:58they had gone a little farther he saw
1:00James the son of Zebedee and his brother
1:02John in a boat preparing their Nets
1:04without delay he called them and they
1:06left their father Zebedee in the boat
1:08with the hired men and followed him
1:11in the name of Jesus
1:15the text I’ll be preaching on this
1:17morning is the beginning portion of Our
1:18Gospel text which reads after John was
1:21put in prison Jesus went into Galilee
1:23proclaiming the good news of God the
1:25time has come he said the kingdom of God
1:28is near repent and believe the good news
1:32now I’d like you to consider for a
1:35minute the juxtaposition between our Old
1:38Testament text and Our Gospel text our
1:41Old Testament text tells the story of
1:44Jonah preaching repentance in you know
1:47to the ninevites while our new testament
1:49text tells us that Jesus the son of God
1:52in first century Judea was calling the
1:55people of Israel to repent which kind of
1:58begs the question what on Earth did
2:01first century Israel have in common with
2:03the Assyrians so that they were being
2:05called to repent just as the Assyrians
2:08of Nineveh had been centuries earlier
2:11we’re all familiar with Jonah and the
2:13fish story now if you look at merely the
2:15surface of things this doesn’t quite
2:17make sense consider the differences the
2:20Israelis of Jesus’s day were religious
2:23while the Assyrians of Nineveh were
2:26Pagan Idol worshiping terrorists now I
2:30want to give you some idea of just how
2:32cruel and brutal the Assyrians of
2:34Jonah’s day were in order to do that I’m
2:37going to have to enlist the help of Will
2:39and Ariel Durant they are Pulitzer
2:41prize-winning historians and the authors
2:44of the you know multi-volume series
2:46entitled the story of our civil
2:47civilization in volume one they actually
2:51describe the Assyrians these are the
2:54people of Nineveh
2:55and I’m not trying to be over the top
2:58this is just how they were you need to
3:01understand what these people were like
3:04when the Assyrians captured a city it
3:06was usually plundered and burnt to the
3:08ground its sight was deliberately
3:11denuded by killing its trees the Loyalty
3:15of the troops was secured by dividing a
3:17large part of the spoils among them
3:19their bravery ensured by the general
3:22rule of the near East that all captives
3:25in war might be enslaved or slain
3:29soldiers were rewarded for every severed
3:32head they brought in from the field so
3:35that the aftermath of a victory
3:36generally witnessed the wholesale
3:38decapitation of Fallen foes most often
3:42the prisoners who would have been who
3:45would have consumed much food in a long
3:47campaign and would have constituted a
3:50danger and a nuisance in the rear were
3:52dispatched after the battle they knelt
3:55with their backs to their captors who
3:57beat their heads in with clubs or cut
3:59them cut off their heads with cutlasses
4:02scribes stood by to out the number of
4:05prisoners taken and killed by each
4:07Soldier and apportioned the booty
4:09accordingly the king
4:11accordingly the king of time permitted
4:14presided at the slaughter the Nobles
4:16among the defeated those who were the
4:18people of higher standing they were
4:20given more special treatment their ears
4:22noses and hands and feet were sliced off
4:25or they were thrown from high Towers or
4:28they and their children were beheaded or
4:30flayed alive or roasted over a slow fire
4:32and reliefs Stone reliefs at Nineveh
4:35show men being impaled or flayed or
4:39having their tongues torn out impaling
4:41by the way is a awful way to die
4:43basically you take somebody run a stake
4:46through them and then put the pole up
4:48you know high and just leave their
4:50bodies hanging there it was a very
4:51terroristic technique and kind of a
4:54precursor of crucifixion
4:56so tongues torn out one king one king
4:59one shows a king gouging out the eyes of
5:01prisoners with a lance while he holds
5:03their heads conveniently in place with a
5:05cord that passed through their lips and
5:08that gives you just a wonderful picture
5:10of what the ninevites were all about
5:12they were well they made Isis look like
5:16a bunch of upstarts you know what I’m
5:18saying because Isis didn’t doesn’t quite
5:20get their hands as dirty as the
5:22ninevites do so we all know the story of
5:25Jonah and how when the Lord commanded
5:27him to go to Nineveh how Jonah disobeyed
5:30boarded a ship heading for tarshish and
5:32how Jonah was returned to shore after
5:35spending three days in the belly of a
5:36large fish we all know the story now is
5:39the reason that Jonah fled because he
5:41feared for his life by preaching
5:43repentance to the men of Nineveh nope
5:46Jonah chapter 4 records Jonah’s reaction
5:50to nineveh’s repentance that we read in
5:53verse 10 of our Old Testament text and
5:55it also reveals the reason why Jonah
5:57disobeyed God and headed away from
6:00Nineveh in that chapter we learned that
6:02Jonah rather than praised the Lord for
6:05the Revival that took place in Nineveh
6:07and rejoice along with the angels who
6:09rejoice when Sinners are brought to
6:11repentance he didn’t Rejoice at their
6:13repentance instead Jonah was very
6:16unhappy that the people of Nineveh had
6:18repented and that God had mercy on them
6:21let me read to you Jonah Chapter 4
6:23verses one through three
6:25but Jonah was greatly displeased and
6:28became angry he prayed to the Lord O
6:31Lord is this not what I said when I was
6:34still at home that is why I was so quick
6:37to flee to tarshish I knew that you are
6:41a gracious and compassionate God slow to
6:45anger and abounding in love a God who
6:48relents from sending Calamity now oh
6:51Lord take away my life for it is better
6:53me for me to die than live
6:57so Jonah didn’t want to preach
7:00repentance in Nineveh because he knew
7:03God was merciful and he didn’t want
7:05those murdering Pagan terrorists to be
7:07forgiven because when you read in your
7:09Old Testament you’ll see that
7:12Israel and Assyria often times were at
7:15war with each other and when Assyria
7:17would get the upper hand all those
7:18things I described the Assyrians doing
7:21they did that to the Jews
7:24so Jonah had a grudge if you would so he
7:27didn’t want those guys to be forgiven
7:29Jonah would have preferred that the
7:31ninevites were punished for their sins
7:33the city of Nineveh overthrown and its
7:36inhabitants thrown into the Eternal
7:38fires of hell
7:40but you see
7:42God is merciful
7:44and when he calls people to repent and
7:47to turn from their sin he does so
7:49because his desire is to forgive and to
7:52Pardon and save those whom he has
7:55created and loves so now let’s return
7:58back to our gospel text
8:01in Our Gospel text Jesus the son of God
8:03in human flesh second person of the Holy
8:05Trinity born of the Virgin Mary is now
8:08an adult and John the Baptist has been
8:10arrested and Jesus get this just like
8:14Jonah is preaching what
8:17he’s preaching repentance
8:19but this time God’s messenger is none
8:22other than God himself and this time the
8:25nation that he’s preaching to is not a
8:27nation of pagan terrorists who torture
8:30and impale their victims nope this time
8:33it’s a nation that is very religious not
8:36only is this nation religious this
8:38nation claims to worship the one true
8:42yet Jesus’s message to them is the same
8:46as Jonah’s his messages repent
8:51this is a mistake right
8:53no it’s not a mistake in fact note how
8:57in the Book of Jonah how there is not
8:58even a hint that Jonah feared for his
9:00life in the preaching to the Assyrians
9:02of Nineveh his only fear was that God
9:04would forgive them but Jesus’s mission
9:06is actually taking him into a region
9:08that is far more dangerous than Nineveh
9:11because the Sinners he’s calling to
9:13repentance are not merely Pagan
9:15terrorists those are easy to deal with
9:17the Sinners he’s calling to repentance
9:20are religious Sinners those who have all
9:23kinds of Pious works but inwardly have
9:26no faith no true fear or love or trust
9:29in God now how do we know that they
9:32don’t have faith well if they did then
9:35they would have worshiped Jesus as their
9:37God because he is their God right now to
9:41give you an example of just how off
9:44these religious Sinners are I would
9:46remind you of the story of Jesus raising
9:49Lazarus from the dead and will pick up
9:51halfway through the story so as not to
9:53believe favor the point and then look at
9:55the reaction of the Jews to Jesus
9:57raising a man from the dead who’ve been
9:59dead for four days in the Gospel of John
10:01Chapter 11
10:03starting at verse 32 we pick up in the
10:04middle of the story it says this now
10:06when Mary came to where Jesus was and
10:08saw him she fell at his feet saying to
10:10him Lord if you had been here my brother
10:12would not have died when Jesus saw her
10:15weeping and the Jews who had come with
10:17her also weeping he was deeply moved in
10:19his spirit and greatly troubled and he
10:21said where have you laid him and they
10:23said to him Lord come and see Jesus wept
10:26so the Jews said see how he loved him
10:28but some of them said well could not he
10:30who opened the eyes of the blind also
10:32have kept this man from dying so then
10:34Jesus deeply moved again came to the
10:37tomb it was a cave and a stone lay
10:39against it Jesus said take away the
10:41stone Martha the sister of the dead man
10:43said to him Lord by this time there will
10:45be an odor or the King James saith he
10:47stinketh right yeah usually corpse is
10:50dead for four days sitting in caves
10:52don’t smell too good right
10:54he’ll be an odor for he’s been dead for
10:56four days Jesus said to her did I not
10:59tell you that if you believed you would
11:00see the glory of God so they took away
11:02the stone Jesus lifted up his eyes and
11:05said father I thank Thee thank you that
11:07you have heard me I knew that you always
11:09hear me but I said this on account of
11:11the people standing around so that they
11:13may believe that you sent me and when he
11:15had said these things he cried out with
11:16a loud voice Lazarus come out and the
11:20man who died came out his hands and feet
11:23bound with linen strips his face unwrap
11:26his face wrapped with a cloth Jesus said
11:28to them unbind him and let him go
11:32wow man dead for four days raised from
11:36the grave you’d think Revival would have
11:38broken out right we’ve never seen
11:41anything like this well listen to the
11:43John continues
11:45many of the Jews therefore who had come
11:47with Mary and had seen what he did
11:50believed in him but some of them went to
11:53the Pharisees and told them what had
11:55Jesus had done so the chief priests and
11:59the Pharisees gathered the council
12:01beware of councils Beware of counting
12:05so they gather the council and they said
12:07what are we to do for this man performs
12:10many signs and if we let him go on like
12:13this everyone will believe in him
12:17and this is a bad thing
12:19why he just raised a guy from the dead
12:22but listen to their reasoning okay if we
12:25let him go on like this everyone will
12:26believe in him and the Romans will come
12:28and take away both our place and our
12:30nation they don’t want to lose their
12:32power do they right but one of them
12:35Caiaphas was the high priest that year
12:36said to them you know nothing at all nor
12:39do you understand that it is better that
12:41one man should die for the people not
12:43that the whole nation should perish he
12:45did not say this on his own accord but
12:47being high priest that year he
12:49prophesied that Jesus would die for the
12:50nation and not for the nation only but
12:53also to gather into one the children of
12:55God who are scattered abroad and the
12:57passage ends this way so from that day
12:59on they made plans to put Jesus to death
13:04kind of takes that saying you know no
13:06good deed goes unpunished kind of to its
13:09ultimate thing but I mean think about
13:10this who are the ones leading the charge
13:12to put Jesus to death the religious
13:15leaders the ones who claim that they
13:18love and serve and obey God and there’s
13:20God in human flesh raising a guy from
13:22the dead who’s been dead for four days
13:24and their responses killed him
13:28yeah the ninevites had nothing on these
13:32guys right so the god the Pharisees
13:34claim to worship was standing right in
13:36front of them he had just called Lazarus
13:38from the grave and their response rather
13:40than worship and praise is to make plans
13:42to put Jesus to death
13:44so this begs the question what is going
13:46on here well let me give you Jesus’s
13:48diagnosis from Matthew chapter 23 a
13:51rough passage this is another one of
13:53those passages of scripture that
13:55obliterates that idea that Jesus is kind
13:58of like that precious moments guy that
14:00he’s all about making people feel good
14:01this will be rough if you’ve never read
14:03it let me read
14:05Jesus said to the crowds and to his
14:07disciples the scribes and the Pharisees
14:10they sit on Moses’s seat there’s an
14:12office that they hold so do and observe
14:14whatever they tell you but do not do the
14:16works they do for they preach but they
14:19do not practice they tie up heavy
14:21burdens hard to Bear lay them on
14:24people’s shoulders but they themselves
14:26are not willing to move them with their
14:28finger they do all their deeds to be
14:30seen by others for they make their
14:32flackataries Broad and their fringes
14:35long and they love the place of honor at
14:37the feasts and the best seats in the
14:39synagogues and greetings in the
14:41marketplaces and they love being called
14:43Rabbi by others but you are not to be
14:45called Rabbi for you have one teacher
14:48and you are all brothers and no man you
14:51didn’t call no man your father on Earth
14:53for you have one father who is hap in
14:55heaven neither be called instructors for
14:57you have one instructor the Christ the
15:00greatest among you shall be your servant
15:02whoever exalts himself will be humbled
15:04whoever humbles himself will be exalted
15:06and here it comes but woe to you scribes
15:11and Pharisees you Hypocrites for you
15:13shut the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s
15:15faces for you neither enter yourselves
15:18nor allow those who would enter to go in
15:21woe to you scribes and Pharisees you
15:23Hypocrites for you travel across sea and
15:26land to make a single proselyte and when
15:28he becomes a proselyte you make him
15:30twice as much a child of hell as
15:32yourselves woe to you blind guides who
15:35say if anyone swears by the temple it’s
15:38nothing but if anyone swears by the gold
15:40of the temple well then he’s Bound by
15:42his oath you blind fools for which is
15:45greater the gold or the temple that has
15:48made the gold sacred and you say well if
15:51anyone swears by the altar that’s
15:53nothing but if anyone swears by the gift
15:55that’s on the altar well he’s Bound by
15:57his oath you blind men for which is
16:01greater the gift or the altar that makes
16:03the gift sacred so whoever swears by the
16:06altar swears by it and who and
16:08everything on it whoever swears by the
16:10temple swears by it and him who dwells
16:12in it and whoever swears by Heaven
16:15swears by The Throne of God and by him
16:17who sits upon it woe to you scribes and
16:20Pharisees you Hypocrites for you tithe
16:22mint and Dill and cumin and have
16:25neglected the weightier matters of the
16:27law Justice and mercy and faithfulness
16:30these you ought to have done without
16:32neglecting the others you blind guides
16:35straining out a gnat and swallowing a
16:37camel woe to you scribes and Pharisees
16:40you Hypocrites for you clean the outside
16:43of the cup and the plate but inside they
16:45are full of greed and self-indulgence
16:47you blind Pharisee first clean the
16:49inside of the cup in the plate and that
16:52outside that the outside may also be
16:54clean any continues so this is quite the
16:57sermon right yeah this is not a good
16:59church growth sermon by the way woe to
17:01you scribes and Pharisees you Hypocrites
17:03for you are like white washed tombs
17:06which outwardly appear beautiful but
17:08within are full of dead people’s bones
17:11and all uncleanness so you also
17:14outwardly appear righteous to others but
17:17within you are full of hypocrisy and
17:27like I said these guys had nothing on
17:29the ninevites Jesus saw right through
17:32their Pious performances and called them
17:35out for their sins and if that wasn’t
17:38bad enough Jesus even likened himself to
17:42Jonah and even compared the men of
17:45Israel of his day to the Assyrian
17:47ninevites listen to this from Matthew 12
17:49starting at verse 38 some of the scribes
17:52and Pharisees answered Jesus saying
17:55teacher we wish to see from you a sign
17:58but he answered them well an evil and
18:00adulterous generation seeks for a sign
18:02but no sign will be given to it except
18:04for the sign of the prophet Jonah for
18:06just as Jonah was three days and three
18:08nights in the belly of the great fish so
18:10will the son of man be three days and
18:12three nights in the heart of the Earth
18:13the men of Nineveh listen to this the
18:18men of Nineveh will rise up at the
18:21Judgment with this generation and they
18:23will condemn it for they repented at the
18:27preaching of Jonah and behold something
18:30greater than Jonah is here
18:33that is a grenade of a bombshell
18:37Jesus is in Israel
18:40surrounded by religious people who say
18:42they worship the one true God and he
18:44says of those Pagan terrorists that
18:47they’re going to rise on the Judgment
18:51forgiven and Justified and they will
18:54condemn the religious Jews
18:57why because they repented
19:00these guys are not
19:02murdering Pagan idolatrous Gentile
19:05terrorists they are forgiven and saved
19:08by the kind and merciful god of Jonah
19:10yet the Pharisees in their
19:12self-righteousness were so blind to
19:15their sin that they refused to believe
19:17that they even needed to repent
19:20the men of Nineveh confess their sins
19:22repented in sackcloth and Ashes and
19:25hoped for God’s mercy and they received
19:28it the religious leaders of Israel
19:30believed themselves to be righteous
19:32because of their obedience to the Torah
19:34and the tradition of the elders in their
19:36way of thinking good righteous law
19:38Keepers don’t need to repent yet the
19:40very God whom they claim to worship and
19:43Obey was the one looking them in the eye
19:45and calling them to repent and believe
19:48the good news
19:49but rather than confess that their
19:52righteousness was nothing more than a
19:54religious facade and rubbish as the
19:56Apostle Paul would someday confess about
19:58his own righteousness as a Pharisee and
20:01rather than confess that they were
20:02sinful just like the prostitutes and the
20:04tax collectors and receive God’s mercy
20:07and forgiveness like the men of Nineveh
20:09the Pharisees instead like the Assyrians
20:12who impaled their victims for all to see
20:15they had Jesus impaled on the cross so
20:18that all could see what happens to those
20:20who oppose their self-righteous religion
20:23of works
20:25but while they were mocking Jesus while
20:28he was bleeding on the cross and telling
20:30him to come down from the cross Jesus
20:33was dying for their sins and the sins of
20:36prostitutes Tax Collectors Assyrian
20:39terrorists drunks thieves Liars cheats
20:43murderers drug addicts gossips wife
20:47beaters fornicators homosexuals
20:50abortionists Shady businessmen crooked
20:53politicians long-winded pastors
20:57and Sinners Like You
21:00and just like Jonah was three days in
21:02the belly of the great fish Jesus died
21:04and then emerged Victorious from the
21:06grave on the third day
21:08yet knowing that Jesus had raised bodily
21:11from the grave these Pharisees still
21:14would not repent
21:17which begs the question
21:19are you blind like the Pharisees and
21:24if you say you have no sin the Apostle
21:27John writes you deceive yourself unlike
21:30the Pharisees the truth is not in you
21:32now a simple way to know if this is you
21:35is if you believe that you are a good
21:38person if you believe that God’s going
21:40to let you into heaven because of your
21:42good deeds and because you believe that
21:44you’re good outweighs your bad or
21:46because you came to church regularly or
21:48because you read your Bible five days a
21:50week or because you voted the right you
21:52know for the right party’s candidates or
21:54because you never smoked a cigarette or
21:56because you never allowed a curse word
21:58to come across your lips
22:00don’t get me wrong for a second there’s
22:02nothing wrong with these good works
22:05but you are just like the Pharisees if
22:07you believe that a right standing before
22:09God is due to your obedience and your
22:12good works this is why the Lord had the
22:16Apostle Paul a man who was a Pharisee of
22:18the Pharisees penned these words in
22:20Philippians 3.
22:21Paul writes look out for the dogs look
22:24out for the evildoers look out for those
22:26who mutilate the flesh he’s talking
22:28about the Pharisees and the judaizers
22:30for we are the circumcision who worship
22:31by the spirit of God and glory in Christ
22:33Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh
22:36though I myself have reason for
22:37confidence in the flesh if anyone else
22:40thinks he has reason for confidence in
22:41the flesh well then I have more I was
22:43circumcised on the eighth day of the
22:45people of Israel of The Tribe of
22:47Benjamin a Hebrew of the Hebrews as to
22:49the law of Pharisee as to Zeal a
22:51persecutor of the church as to
22:53righteousness under the law blameless
22:56but whatever gain I had I counted as a
23:00loss for the sake of Christ indeed I
23:02count everything as a loss because the
23:04surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus
23:06my Lord for his sake I have suffered the
23:09loss of all things and count them all of
23:11my good works as a Pharisee I count them
23:13as rubbish
23:15in order that I might gain Christ and be
23:17found in him listen to this not having a
23:20righteousness of my own that comes from
23:22the law but a righteousness that comes
23:25through faith in Christ the
23:26righteousness that is from God that
23:28depends on faith
23:30so if you say you have no sin you
23:32deceive yourself and like the Pharisees
23:34the truth is not in you but if you
23:36confess your sins like the men of
23:38Nineveh God who is faithful and just
23:40will forgive your sins and cleanse you
23:42from all unrighteousness
23:43repent therefore
23:45repent of your sins repent of yourself
23:48righteousness repent of your religious
23:51sinfulness and be forgiven your right
23:53standing has been established for you by
23:55Christ not by your good works for Jonah
23:58was right
23:59God is gracious God is compassionate
24:02slow to anger and abounding and
24:05steadfast love and a God who relents
24:07from Calamity even the Calamity of hell
24:10in the name of Jesus Amen
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