Friendly with sin?

Friendly with sin?

Passage: Luke 15:1-10
Service Type:

Intro: When your car has a shake in the wheel, it’s hard to focus on anything else. You want the problem resolved. 

When you have a headache, it’s hard to enjoy the day. You want to feel better.

This “problem” becomes priority #1

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, 

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 

‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 

7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Jesus will focus on the lost as long as there are any.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Luke 19:10

This was his focus, not on looking good. 

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

He couldn’t care less.  

It’s like your health or the car…

True love is blind…

…to demographic, race, and social status…

Fear of danger, disease, but mostly…

1. True Love is blind to the fear of man

Jesus is a “friend of sinners”. 

His love for the lost is blind to the cost of going after them

The cost of reputation, money, time, and even potential failure.

Are we to be friends of sinners too? YES.

The question is not, “Should I go to the heathen?” 

But, “Do I dare stay at home?” The command is so clear, “Go!”

~ Unknown 

2 Cautions first:

Like a virus, the enemy has adapted. 

1. Don’t go to the lost alone.
Many a missionary has gone out to “minister to the least of these” 

(drug addicts, prostitutes, drunks, thieves) and quickly become one of them. 

You and I are not the Lord. (WWJD doesn’t necessarily apply all the time)

2. True Love doesn’t bind itself to the lost

In the world, but not of the world.

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 

24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”

John 2:23-25

2. Being a friend of sinners doesn’t mean becoming friendly with sin. 

We have reacted to this teaching by creating “seeker-friendly” churches where people aren’t judged by what they wear or where they come from.

In the Bible, the enemies of God were self-righteous Pharisees. 

Now… the enemies of God might be those in the church who turn a blind eye toward sin.

3. True Love still hates sin.

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

The end product is having a church without Jesus.

Following Jesus is not cheap.

4. True Love is expensive

Telling people salvation is a free gift is a misrepresentation. 

More accurately: If you want the ultimate, you have to be willing to pay the ultimate price. 

Giving up the self and the sin is a huge price for the sinner to pay.

Lay down your life. Deny yourselves.

Example: Think of marriage. 

You find the one you want and you’re willing to give up all the others easily. 

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’

The price for true Love is expensive (for the sheep… and for the Shepherd)

5. True Love pursues the lost at any cost.

What better treasure is there in heaven than to spend earthly resources to bring in souls who were lost?

“Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. 

This is our work - to wake people up.”

~ Catherine Booth

Do I care about the lost?

10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

This is God’s kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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