Sermon Transcript – What Christ Did NOT Say About Those Who Are Not Against Us

Series B – Eighteenth Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, September 26, 2021 | 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
0:22The holy gospel according
0:29to saint mark the ninth chapter [Music]
0:40john said to Jesus teacher we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him because he was
0:46not following us but Jesus said to him do not stop him for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon
0:53afterward to speak evil of me for the one who is not against us is for us for truly i say to you whoever gives you a
0:59cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward whoever causes one of these
1:07little ones who believe in me to sin it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and
1:13he were thrown into the sea and if your hand causes you to sin cut it off it’s better for you to enter life
1:18crippled than with two hands and go to hell to the unquenchable fire and if your foot causes you to sin cut
1:24it off it’s better for you to enter life lame that with two feet to be thrown into hell and if your eye causes you to
1:30sin tear it out it’s better for you to enter the kingdom of god with one eye than with two eyes and be thrown into
1:35hell where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched for everyone will be salted with fire salt is good but if
1:42the salt has lost its saltiness how will you make it salty again have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one
1:48another this is the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus here again the closing verses of
1:56the epistle of james my brother if anyone among you wanders from the truth
2:01and someone brings him back let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from
2:07death and will cover a multitude of sins today i’m going to preach on our gospel
2:13text and i’m going to do something a little odd we’re going to talk about what Jesus didn’t mean it’s kind of a
2:19weird way of going because always the question is what does he mean when he preaches things we’ll we’ll learn what he means for sure but i have to admit
2:27that this is a passage this our gospel text is a passage that is used to much
2:33mischief within the church and has caused all kinds of problems i don’t know if you
2:38guys have noticed but in our society the growing unforgivable sin you know
2:44every culture has an unforgivable sin the growing unforgivable sin is the sin of offending someone
2:52okay have you ever told anybody that they were wrong that’s a dangerous thing you could you
2:58can get thrown in prison for that nowadays you could be put in facebook prison in jail locked out of your
3:04twitter account you get the idea here and so you you we’re not supposed to offend people and
3:09you’re going to note with growing intensity the thing that people do not want to hear
3:15is the truth right that’s that’s what they don’t want to hear they don’t want to hear these things and so they want everybody to
3:23just don’t rock the boat don’t say anything wrong and here’s how they use this text so here we have Jesus being
3:30confronted by the apostle john while he’s still in his discipleship training program traipsing around judea
3:37and it says teacher we saw someone casting out demons in your name we tried to stop him because he was not following
3:43us but Jesus said do not stop him for no one who does a mighty work in my name
3:49will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me for the one who is not against us is for
3:54us and so here’s how this generally works out okay you see uh we have to make uh a
4:01distinction here but let me kind of first say how this gets preached people sit there and say see
4:07see so we don’t need to concern ourselves with the false teachers out there with you know kenneth copeland or
4:13or gloria you know copeland or or you just pick the you know joyce meyer or
4:18joel osteen no no no no no no we n we need to stop saying that these are dangerous people because Jesus said
4:24whoever is not against us is for us right so you just need to cool your jets
4:30you uptight lutherans you just need to just relax a little bit as they say in evangelicalism you just
4:36need to learn how to well spit them spit the bones while chewing the meat you
4:42know see this is what Jesus is telling us to do take a completely relaxed attitude as it relates to you know false
4:48doctrine or people who are twisting up the scriptures it’s it’s no big deal
4:57it isn’t it’s not a big deal you know out of all the books of the new testament there is only one
5:05that doesn’t warn us against false teachers only one and it’s the it’s philemon every other
5:12book like the entire new testament with the exception of one book warns us about
5:17well false teachers i have to ask a question is that what Jesus meant cool your jets don’t worry about doctrine
5:22it’s no big deal you know right because i mean all somebody has to do is say these words Jesus and see you say the
5:30word Jesus and well that means you’re a Christian and that everything coming from you out
5:35of your mouth from your teaching your doctrine well we shouldn’t be uptight about it
5:40no that’s not how this works so here’s the idea scripture interprets scripture
5:47and so Jesus didn’t mean this in this manner in fact let me kind of remind you of the context and when we look then at
5:54this passage we have to pay close attention to what he’s saying because it’s quite the opposite of what how
5:59people use this text so here’s our context Jesus is still
6:05performing his earthly ministry he’s in a state of humiliation he is the even
6:10though he is god of god light of light very god a very god begotten not made he has humbled himself and has been born of
6:17the virgin mary to well his mother and his father are poor his
6:22dad is a day laborer as a construction guy and what does he do he’s humbling
6:27himself becoming obedient to the point of death even death on a cross and he’s still doing his earthly ministry and you
6:34can kind of fill in the the gaps here because we’re already up to chapter nine
6:39of the gospel of mark which means we’re well past the halfway point and so what has happened well Jesus has
6:45been out there doing what preaching teaching raising the dead giving sight to the blind giving hearing
6:52to the deaf casting out demons cleansing lepers forgiving sinners right and some
6:59poor fellow who was born dead in trespasses and sins hears his god
7:05preaching and teaching and sees the signs and wonders and guess what he believes in Jesus
7:11that’s what’s going on here and so when confronted with the forces of darkness
7:18who does he invoke his god Jesus and you’re gonna note this was before there were any church splits
7:25okay you just we need to make that clear okay so when we talk about the church
7:31and in fact in a little bit we’re going to confess the apostles creed but if you remember in the nicean creed we hear the
7:38words that we should be saying but we don’t because you look there’s an asterisk but in our hymnal it says i
7:44believe in one holy the word is catholic the word one holy catholic and apostolic
7:49church that’s really the words we should be using as catholic because catholic means universal all right but here’s the
7:55thing every time we hear the word catholic we go like this and and then when i say the word catholic when i’m wearing an album
8:02in a stole into my uniform people say they’re going i knew it he’s a closet jesuit [Laughter]
8:10ah okay you just can’t make this stuff up okay but the idea here is is that when we
8:17confess that we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church it’s
8:22important to note this the church itself is an article of faith
8:29i want you to think about this you sit there and go well what are you talking about here i mean we’ve got a building we got people we we you know we we have
8:36food and we make bars and we have you know potlucks and things like this of course you know the church is an article
8:42of faith i see the church every day that’s not exactly what’s going on here so we talk about the church when we
8:48confess one holy catholic and apostolic church we note then that the church itself is an article of
8:55faith is invisible he said that’s kind of weird but work with me here Christ makes it clear that
9:01the visible church that the devil has attacked the visible church continues to attack the visible
9:08church and what is he doing he’s sowing weeds among the wheat so that being the case when we confess
9:15that there is a church a holy catholic and apostolic church it’s invisible and
9:21it’s important to note being a member of that invisible church is the most important thing being a
9:28member of kong’s finger and not so much okay you know that’s i’m going to be blunt there have been historically within the
9:34history of kong’s finger and i don’t know who they are i’m not naming any particular people who have been members of this church who were not believers
9:42because that’s how the devil operates all right and think of it this way and the last day there’s going to be some surprises people you thought believed
9:49didn’t believe people you thought didn’t believe they believed okay so the important thing is is not
9:54your membership at kongsvinger or any particular ecclesiastical organization per se let me explain
10:01if we are not saying that the aalc is the
10:06holy catholic and apostolic church if we said that then there’s only like 50-something congregations that
10:12are preaching the truth and if you’re not part of the aalc then well it was nice knowing you okay
10:19no that’s not how this works okay so the idea then is is that we recognize by
10:25looking at other passages of scripture that the most important thing is faith in Christ
10:32and that we will learn here that what the scriptures do say
10:38is that as Christ goes on that whoever causes one of his little ones who believe in me to sin
10:44we oftentimes think about that in terms of like you know child abuse or something like that and certainly it is
10:50but i want you to think of it everybody who is truly saved Jesus is referring to
10:55them as his little ones you’re his one of his little ones you who believe and trust in Christ you have
11:03been raised regenerated your sins have been washed away you’ve been united with Christ in his death and resurrection
11:10you’ve been given the seal of the holy spirit and you’ve received the spirit of adoption you are now adopted back into
11:16the family of god and we cry out to god abba father or as we will pray later
11:21today in the service our father who art in heaven so Jesus says you are his little ones
11:27and whoever would cause one of his little ones to sin it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung
11:33around his neck and he were thrown into the sea sin
11:39well when we talk about sin well we always have to have a way of defining it when we define sin we go
11:45back to where the ten commandments are there not two tables of the law
11:50two first table of the law those first three commandments all have to do with our relationship with god you will have no
11:57other gods you will not take the name of the lord your god in vain you will keep the remember the sabbath day to keep it
12:03holy these all things have to do with things regarding god and you’ll note then that having no other gods that
12:09first commandment requires us to not listen to people who are bringing us
12:15false doctrines and teaching us about false Jesuses and false gods and things
12:21like this right and that those who preach and teach such things they are causing Jesus’s little ones to sin by
12:29breaking the first commandment ah okay so he that’s not how we meant it
12:35and if you think about it when you look at our cross references for instance Jesus the same Jesus who says the one
12:40who is not against us is for us note that false teachers are actually against
12:46Christ Christ doesn’t even know him in matthew chapter 7 in the sermon on the mount Jesus says these words beware of false
12:53prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous
12:58wolves consider the metaphor here here you have
13:03wolves with sheep’s clothing on to camouflage themselves and they’re learning how to go that’s
13:10bad right right and Christians hear them and go oh look it’s a cute little sheep ow that
13:17hurt right okay and think of it this way oh man one of the
13:23biggest heretics of our day is kenneth copeland prosperity preacher extraordinaire and i saw somebody on the
13:30internet a few weeks ago remember with fall of kabul right well kenneth copeland famously owns several not one
13:39several private jets and so what did he do he well loaned his private jets to
13:46several pilots who were working with glenn beck and they flew those private
13:51jets to kabul and they rescued americans and flew them home so that they wouldn’t
13:57be killed by the taliban right and somebody was saying i need to
14:02apologize to ken copeland because i thought he was a false teacher but by saving those americans he proved that he
14:09was really true and i’m sitting there going did your mama drop you on your head that’s the
14:15sheep’s clothing okay any pagan can do that
14:20and you’ll note that the false teachers do they pray yes
14:26right that’s the sheep’s clothing Christ says they come to you in sheep’s
14:32climbing they don’t come to you in full wolf garb they come to you in sheep’s clothing and just because somebody does a good thing
14:39or does something in the realm of civic righteousness i mean granted it’s a great thing that he
14:45loaned out his bazillion dollar jets so that people can come home safely good on you i mean
14:51but that doesn’t prove that you’re not a false teacher Christ says you’ll recognize them by
14:57their fruits that’s going to include their teaching by the way and then Christ ask the
15:03question are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles no so every healthy tree bears good fruit
15:10but the diseased tree bears bad fruit coven 19 right
15:15the healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit nor can the diseased tree bear good fruit every tree that does not bear good
15:22fruit is cut down and is thrown into the fire thus you recognize them by their
15:28fruits and by the fire here Jesus is referring to what hell
15:34all right there’s that uncomfortable doctrine that nobody wants to talk about nowadays and i remember years ago you
15:40know when rob bell was the bee’s knees you may remember this guy it was booked velvet elvis and you know and his he was
15:47he was so cool he was post-modern like hipster kind of guy like before hipster was even hip and you know he was like
15:53the prototype of it and you know evangelical churches were all playing his pneuma videos in their in their
16:00youth groups and stuff like this and i knew immediately just listening to this guy’s doctrine he was a dangerous wolf
16:06and i started warning people and people were saying roseville you just need to relax calm down don’t be up so uptight
16:13and i’m saying that guy is a universalist he denies the virgin birth of Christ next thing you know he’s going
16:20to be affirming every kind of sin under the sun and lo and behold not only did he start affirming every sin under the
16:26sun including sexual sins he put out a book called love wins and
16:31in love wins he denies the doctrine of hell and i would note search your bible
16:37this is do a little fact checking here the person who preached the most
16:42and the most specific about hell Jesus
16:48it’s Jesus and you’ll know in our gospel text Jesus invokes hell whoever causes one of these
16:55little ones who believe in me to sin oh it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and
17:00he were thrown into the sea if your hand causes you to sin cut it off it’s better for you to enter life crippled than it
17:06with two hands and go to hell to the unquenchable fire if your foot causes you to sin cut it off note Jesus said to
17:12go to hell with what the unquenchable fire Jesus not only believed in hell he
17:18taught hell and you know how long he said it last forever okay believe me you don’t want to end up
17:25there it is a real place and there are real human beings who are really there
17:31right now and the thing is is that if we’re honest with ourselves
17:39we all deserve that i do you do right
17:45so note that a diseased tree a wolf a wolf doesn’t preach Christ and him crucified for our sins a wolf will
17:52always tell people what they want to hear they you generally operate in greed greed of money or greed of fame greed of
18:00personality whatever okay they are operating for their own benefit and they
18:05don’t care which doctrines of Christ they need to cut away or ignore or deny
18:10you’ll not recognize them by their fruits and then Jesus says these words and this is how we know for certain that
18:16when Jesus says the one who is not against me is for me that it doesn’t mean that anybody who just says Jesus
18:22means that you just leave him alone here’s what Jesus says in that same chapter matthew 7 not everyone who says
18:29to me lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven
18:35what is the will of Christ what is the will of the father in heaven the will of the father is that you
18:41listen to the son and what does the son say go into all the world
18:46teaching them all that i have commanded you and you sit there and you go well that
18:52that’s a nice suggestion Jesus you know but the things you you taught are kind of irrelevant we know better how to grow
18:59the church than you do Jesus so we’re just going to take your words and just kind of you know
19:05we’ll let them collect us over here and we’ll we’ll don’t worry we’ll grow the church Jesus we’ll tell them what we want them
19:11to hear or what they want to hear right so Jesus says not everyone who says to
19:17me lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but the one who does the will of my father and on that day referring to
19:22the day of judgment they will say to me lord lord did we not prophesy in your
19:28name i mean how many videos did i put out on youtube letting people know that their breakthrough was about to come
19:34that they were gonna experience it suddenly that that they were gonna you get the point huh right well did we not
19:39prophesy in your name lord oh and cast out demons in your name covet 19
19:46and do mighty works in your name you know like pulling people’s legs and lengthening them and stuff right
19:54what does Jesus say i never knew you depart from me you workers of
20:00lawlessness all of that’s just flim-flam scam show
20:06and they come to us in the name of Jesus dressed in sheep’s clothing
20:11so that being the case we might want to pay attention to what the scripture says
20:18god doesn’t want us to listen to false teachers and the one who teaches falsely is
20:25opposed to Christ Jesus in matthew 24 says seeth that no one leads you astray
20:30in the last days many will will come in my name saying i’m the messiah i’m the Christ and they will lead many astray
20:37then i think of john the same john who was perplexed in our gospel text today because there was a guy out there
20:43casting out demons who weren’t part of the inner circle of the twelve you know he had only been catechized by Jesus by
20:48hearing his preaching and teaching and this same john he writes a letter in
20:54second john to a woman who has a church meeting in her home that’s kind of an
20:59important bit because when when the Christianity got up and running it wasn’t legal
21:04okay the roman chur the roman emperor hadn’t signed off on it and it would be a few more hundred years before he does
21:11and so there weren’t church buildings like we have today and they didn’t have pitch-ins and potlucks and they didn’t
21:18feed people at the beat piler they had to stay on the dl you know what i’m saying down on the down low
21:23and so there was a lady who had a church meeting in her home and the apostle john writes to her and he says i rejoice
21:29greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth do you think it’s kind of important to
21:34walk in the truth john thinks it’s important to walk in the truth he was rejoicing and praising god that some of
21:39the people who were attending the congregation that meets in her home that they were walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the father ah the
21:47father wants us to what walk in the truth and now i ask you dear lady not as
21:52though i were writing you a new command but the one we have had from the beginning and here’s the commandment
21:59um that you that you should walk in it and here we go
22:05this is love that we walk according to his commandments and this is the commandment that you’ve heard from the
22:10beginning verse six again let me kind of rephrase it this is love that we walk
22:16according to his commandments walk in truth walk according to god’s commandments where do we find his
22:22commandments in that book that’s collecting dust
22:28the bible right and then he says this for many deceivers have gone out into the world
22:34many not some many those who do not confess the coming of Christ in the
22:39flesh such a one is a deceiver it’s the en is the antiChrist so watch yourselves so that you may not lose what we have
22:46worked for but may win a full reward everyone who goes on ahead and does not
22:53abide in the teaching has uh who whoever abides in the teaching has both the
22:58father and the son and anyone who does not abide does not have either of them
23:05that’s rose bros para everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have god
23:12abide in the teaching of Christ you mean we just need to read the bible
23:18and that’s it yeah why is it that you never really preach anything else because i’m there or not
23:26and then you follow that lectionary and every three years you’re always preaching on the same text yeah and i’ll do it again in three years yeah right
23:33you know we teach the full counsel of the word of god and when we finish we do the whole thing again right yeah but
23:38i’ve heard these stories before well if you want to hear different stories go buy netflix you can have a
23:44subscription you can hear all kinds of stories on netflix here in the church we’re going to abide in the teaching of
23:50Christ we’re going to preach the word if anyone does not come if anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine
23:57don’t receive him into your house or into your church or give him a greeting for whoever greets him takes part in his
24:02wicked works paul says it this way in romans 16 i appeal to you brothers watch out for
24:08those who cause divisions and create obstacles that are contrary to the doctrine that you’ve been taught avoid
24:15them such persons do not serve our lord Jesus Christ but they serve their own appetites and by smooth talk and
24:22flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive so note here
24:27those who are most susceptible to false teachers are the naive
24:34and if we’re honest with ourselves again each and every one of us are guilty of listening to some of these false
24:40teachers i am if you think about your your walk within Christianity you’ve listened to a bunch
24:46of false teachers too right but god has had mercy on us
24:54and think back to what james said those last verses of his epistle
25:00if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back let him know that whoever brings back a
25:06sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins and i would remind
25:12each and every one of us who have wandered and spent time and listening and
25:17two false teachers and believing their twisted doctrines
25:23that Jesus himself has been faithful he is the one who in scripture says he
25:29came to seek and save the lost he came to seek and save me he came to seek and save you and that he is the one
25:37who arranged for you to hear his word and to hear the gospel and he is the one
25:43who sought you and brought you back from your wanderings in idolatry so that your
25:48soul can be saved and by his death on the cross suffering and bleeding and dying in your
25:55place and mine he has now covered the entire multitude of every one of your sins
26:01and mine and so you’ll note that Jesus is always the good shepherd the one who lays down
26:07his life for the sheep the one who leaves the 99 to go in search of the one that was wandering and if you’re honest
26:14you’ve spent some time wandering so have i and so we take comfort in this fact that
26:20although we are guilty of grievous sins and listening to the most bizarre of
26:25teachings thinking that it was biblical when it wasn’t that Christ has forgiven us of all of this and that he is the one who is now
26:32sustaining us feeding us with his word feeding us with his body and blood as we humbly just
26:38stay in the word of god listening to and abiding in what he has preached and taught and what he has commanded
26:45and we recognize that when scripture teaches against false
26:50teachers that each and every one of us are also guilty of being those false teachers yeah we may have spoken false words
26:57about god to our neighbors and even Christ has called us to repent of that and to be forgiven
27:02and we recognize that scripture doesn’t teach speak flatteringly of people who do such things
27:08first timothy paul says this if anyone teaches a different doctrine and doesn’t agree with the sound words of our lord
27:13Jesus Christ and the teaching then that accords with godliness he’s puffed up with conceit and he understands nothing
27:21the greek is actually a little stronger have you ever heard of the word ignoramus
27:27okay it actually comes out of this text from the greek the one who
27:32who does not agree with the sound words of our lord Jesus Christ that accords with godliness he is puffed up in an
27:39ignoramus and understands nothing that’s kind of how the greek runs on this the greek is a little bit more to
27:46the point and well that doesn’t make me feel good right and the thing is is that stop thinking about them for a second
27:51here and think about have you have you not been guilty like i have of disagreeing with the sound words
27:58of scripture sitting there going yeah i know the bible says that but
28:03right we all do it okay and when we’re doing this
28:09we’re being ignoramuses but scripture calls us to agree with the sound words of our lord Jesus Christ
28:16and the sound words of our lord Jesus Christ they pop the balloon of our puffed up conceit and stupidity
28:23and our well love and our craving for controversies and quarrels and instead
28:28calls us to humbly recognize that yet again we were wrong and that scripture is right and at the end at its core then
28:35we recognize that the job of pastors and the job of all of us then it is good work to do the work that Christ has done
28:42to participate with Jesus in finding those who are wandering from the truth
28:48and speaking the words the sound words of Jesus to them in order to bring them back so that
28:53they can be forgiven their sins covered over by Christ and their wanderings
28:59brought to an end so that they can instead rest in the pasture of god’s word and the good news of Christ and him
29:06crucified for our sins and no longer participate in the weird bizarre
29:11teachings that our sinful nature invents and concocts week after week day after day year after
29:18year but instead just humbly abide
29:23in the name of Jesus amen
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