Racism And Hypocrites In Church

[Music] We are in a a series in the book of
Romans; one of the most complicated books in the whole Bible and we are trying to
break it down into pieces that we can absorb and apply to our daily lives. So welcome if you’re new to us, make yourself at home. And for everyone here, I
hope this series is helpful to you to dig into just one of the most incredible
pieces of Scripture that we have. This is the Apostle Paul, he covers
so much in this letter to the Roman Church. So just a quick little catch-you-
up, Paul was one of my personal heroes, next to Jesus, baddest man that ever
lived. He endured more than any of us ever will and still kept his joy and
kept preaching the gospel; you couldn’t shut the man up. They beat him and
flogged him and imprisoned him and stripped him and took everything he had
over and over and over and over and over, and he just just kept on going. And
so he would start churches all over that part of the world and then he would
continue to pastor them from afar and write them letters of encouragement. This one was unique because this church was in Rome and Paul’s all the
way in in Corinth and he wants to travel across the Mediterranean Sea to get to
Spain and he sees Rome in the middle, so he’s hoping to stop in Rome to visit
this church. He’s heard about all the great conflict going on there so he
writes a letter to help encourage this church and basically they’re going
through a massive church split where you have Roman believers clashing with
Jewish believers. And it’s a culture clash, it’s a religion history clash,
and so many things are going on. This church is imploding and exploding and it
is ugly. Paul is writing these letters to encourage them and he starts
out with great power and authority, just proclaiming, “I come to you in the name of
Jesus and I am preaching the gospel; I’m not ashamed of it. It is the gospel that
we all need.” And so you got–I can just see–here you got the Romans with their
great church tradition, their cultural superpowers, and and they
have their way of doing church and they probably feel like they’re doing it the
right way. But then you have the Jews that have been exiled; they’ve come into
the church and they have generations of church history. They’ve got like, “Hey. You
wouldn’t have church without us. God gave us the law; He gave us the prophets, He
gave us Jesus Himself so I think you better listen to us.” And it’s
boiling over; it’s hot and tempers are flaring. Paul just sort
of levels the playing field and says, “Look, we are all lost without Christ.
We all are in total desperate need of a savior.” He goes back to the beginning
and says, “Since the beginning, men and women have been drifting away from
God.” And he just goes through sin after sin after sin and he just shows how–
“Listen, we’re all guilty of some of this.” Just so that we’re all here
today, do we have any liars in the house today? Can I get a witness? Some liars in
the house today, all right. If you ain’t raising your hand, there’s
another one. I can just go through the list: gossip, you ever hated anybody?
Ever taken offense to somebody? Ever wished somebody harm? You ever disobeyed
your parents? You ever cheated on a test? Cheated on your taxes? You ever fudge the
truth a little bit? Listen, we’re all in this boat and some of us,
the list goes on and on. And Paul just says, “Look, we all are in this thing
called sin. We all were born into it; we all drift away from God and do not
worship Him. We all need Jesus as our Savior.” And that’s what unites us
together. So today I’m going to touch on two of the hottest topics around, and
it’s kind of a heavy message so I thought I better start it out with a
joke because this might be the last time we left today. I heard this joke–if you got some good preacher jokes, feel free to send them to me. I’ve
probably heard it before. But I love a good joke. I heard
one, it was Memorial Day and the church had brought in this incredible monument
to honor the fallen soldiers. And so they put this monument in their lobby and it
was just beautiful with lots of flags and it got everybody’s attention.
The pastor walked out into the lobby and he saw this six year old little
boy just wide eyed just looking at it. He looked at the preacher and
said, “Pastor, what’s that?” The pastor got down and said, “Well son, this is this is our way of
remembering those who died in the service.” The boy said, “Was it the early service or the second service?” [Laughs] It’s okay, it’s okay. Today I want to talk about–let’s
just go ahead and–okay, we all got something to hear today. We all
need to grow. In this series, I’ve talked about the gift of conviction. Like, if
you are in Christ, God does not punish you which is reason to worship right
there. Like, Jesus took all the punishment and so now when you are in Christ,
you are set free from the punishments. Like from that point on, He lovingly
corrects us, He disciplines us, He keeps us on the right path, but we don’t have
to fear his punishment anymore. Jesus took our punishment. And so conviction is
a gift for us and we should thank God. We should learn to thank God for
conviction and when our our thoughts don’t line up with His, when our actions
and when our beliefs don’t line up with His, we should just welcome the
conviction. And so today I’m going to hit on two really hot topics very quickly
today. I just pray that we can walk out of here with with greater unity as a
body and unity with the spirit today. If I were to say to you, “What’s the number
one thing that keeps away from church? The number one
complaint about church? They say, “I don’t go to church because it’s just full of…? Congregation: Hypocrites. I didn’t even I didn’t even have to tell you the answer. Full of hypocrites! Hypocrisy in the church. And so that’s kind of what we’re gonna touch on
just for a minute today. However, I don’t know if you know where this phrase
“hypocrite” comes from, but it’s actually back in Jesus day
the mode of entertainment for the day is they would come together and
they would put on plays and and dramatic shows and the actors were called
hypocrites. That was their word actors. And so Jesus would see this going
on and He’d say, “Hey. You know what? We got some of that in the church, too. We got
people acting like believers, but they’re not really believers.” So I say
to people who don’t go to church because they complain about hypocrites; I say,
“Listen, you’re quoting Jesus and you can’t go around quoting Jesus and not go
to church. That’s being a hypocrite.” Hypocrisy is a big deal for all of us. Do
we have any hypocrites here today? Again, you should all be raising your
hand. Any time your life doesn’t line up with what you say you believe, you become
a hypocrite; and we’re all guilty of it. So Paul addresses
this and let me just kind of share with you. So here’s where we’ve gone-Paul has
addressed the Roman Church which is full of Romans and Jews. He says,
“Listen, we’ve all drifted. We’ve all fallen short.” So I just imagine like the
Romans were complaining about the Jews and the way they were doing things and
some of their traditions and some of their beliefs and, “Y’all don’t know how
to do this.” And then the Jews were doing the same with the Romans, and there was
just this big clash coming together. So Paul says, “Listen, you’ve all sinned
and fallen short of the glory of God. Would you please stop being so critical
of each other? I’m just–we’re gonna cover all of chapter 2, but I’m just
gonna read just a couple of passages from chapter 2. This is the message
of chapter 2. So here’s what Paul had to say- Romans 2:1, ‘You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone
else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself,
because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s
judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a
mere human, passed judgment on them yet do the same things, do you think you will
escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness,
forbearance and patience, not realizing that it is God’s kindness that is
intended to lead you to repentance?’ Forbearance is like,
if you have the legal right to prosecute someone and you choose not to, that is
showing forbearance. So if you break the law of God and He has every right to
punish you, and He doesn’t and He shows mercy, that is God showing forbearance to
us. So how many of you are thankful for God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience with us when we fall short? Whoo! That’s worth clapping for right there.
Thank You, God. Thank You, God. I’m gonna be perfectly– let me just
tell you, I really struggled years ago with just feeling like I was failing in
every area of life. I don’t know if anybody ever struck–life had just
gotten so complex and busy and, I was just juggling and dropping. It just
felt like I was drowning. I was looking at the way I was parenting. “I’m failing as a dad, I’m
failing as a husband, failing as a pastor, failing as a friend, failing. Anybody ever
feel that way? Is it just me? Anybody else ever relate to feeling that way? You just slip into condemnation and shame and I
just I struggled with this. Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m
just an intricate planner. I plan. I’ve got elaborate to-do lists just
trying to keep all responsibilities prioritized and in
order. I can approach a week and a month and a year, but life just
got to the point where it was just too big. Every single day of my life I
felt like I was letting people down and disappointing people and neglecting at
least one or more children. I never feel like I give my kids the appropriate
amount of time or my wife or you, and I see people in the church that are going
through hard times. I say, “I so want to just minister to them and be there
for them.” I can’t be there for everybody. I was just walking
in this incredible condemnation like I just don’t measure up, ever. I would
go to God with this and I would say, “God, when I feel like I’m doing good in
ministry, I feel like a failure at home and when I feel good at home, I feel like
a failure in ministry. God! Help me, show me. What do I do?” This was God’s response to me after
years of praying this prayer: He said, “Brad,–” and I’ll be honest with you. It left me
living so on edge and so agitated and my goodness-god forbid any one point out an
area that I was failing in. Like, “Brad, don’t you think you need…” “[Mumbles angrily]” God’s
answer was very simple. He said, “Brad, if you could do it all, you wouldn’t need Me.” He said, “Brad, you need grace every day of your life in every area.” I hope you
can let that sink in because let me tell you the difference it made in my life.
Every day I began approaching every day already knowing, “You know what? I am
probably going to neglect my kids on some level today. I’m not gonna be the
husband I should today. I’m not gonna be the follower of Christ. I’m not
gonna be the pastor or the friend. I’m not gonna do everything, I may not do anything
thing right today, and so I’m going to cling to the grace and mercy and
forgiveness of God in such an intimate way.” In every way, I’m gonna say, “God, I
need Your grace today. I need Your mercy. I need Your forgiveness.” And when we
fall short, whene makes up the difference, that’s what grace is. We go as
far as we can and we fall short every time, and then God and His grace comes
and He rescues us. He fills in the gap and let me tell you what it did to me: it
transformed my heart. When I got in touch with how badly I needed the grace of God,
it made me a much more graceful person. And so when someone would come to me and
they would disappoint me or let me down, suddenly instead of just being angry and
agitated all the time, I said, “I know. Hey, I need grace.” Jesus said to the woman washing His feet
with her tears,He said, “Those that have been forgiven much, they love much.”
Like when you’re in touch with how badly you need the grace of God, suddenly you
become so much more graceful and loving and forgiving. I believe this is
Paul’s message to the Romans and to the Jewish believers. Like, “Listen, why are you
getting so caught up on being critical of each other sins when you’re doing the
same thing? Why would you, as mere humans, who fall so short of the glory of God
think it wise to be critical of each other and judge each other’s sins and
say, ‘Well, you don’t measure up and you don’t fit in the body and you’re not a
true believer?’ when the thing that joins us together is we are living as people
desperate for the grace and mercy and forgiveness of God and that’s what
should unite us together.” Now, this is tough here because it
doesn’t mean to swing to the other end of the pendulum and just say, “Well, we
should never point out sin.” Like, we just ignore all sin. The Bible never
says to ignore sin or to tolerate sin or to– listen, it is the spirit in
which we address sin. You’ve heard me preach on this-Jesus came with
grace and truth, and we need both of those. Unfortunately, the
church too often preaches truth without much grace and they draw lines and they
show people where they don’t fit in and where they don’t measure up, and then
grace is hard to come by. And then you’ve got the world that is demanding grace
without truth and they just say, “Love everyone equally and just let everyone
do whatever they want. Let’s all just get along and ignore the truth of holiness
and righteousness and God’s standard for life.” We have to bring those together.
We have to offer truth and grace and with one without the other–if you have
truth without grace, it’s just dead religion. If you have grace without truth, it’s just licentiousness, it’s just hedonism, it’s just live for yourself. So
we must have both of those in our lives and so we must walk through the door of
truth and then be there with incredible grace to cover each other and love each
other because the truth is what shows where we all fall short and that is
such a gift from God. Then His mercy and grace and forgiveness comes in. So
every day we should just be so ready to worship because His mercies are new
every morning and we get to walk in that grace. We should be so loving
toward each other, “Oh, you need God’s grace? So do I. You need forgiveness? So do I. You need His mercy? You need a God who’s patient with you? So do I. Let’s worship
Him together. Thank You, God, for being so patient with us!” Then finally–short
message today. Hypocrisy is when we put on the mask, when we play the
role and act as if we don’t have the same issues and problems. We all got
issues, we all got our problems, that’s why God put us together to encourage one
another and build each other. Second big issue–it’s just a hot topic it. This demon just seems to constant. It’s like you feel like you’ve beat this demon
down and it just keeps coming right back, this demon. A few things get me
riled up more than than this demon. So in this one chapter, I believe Paul is
addressing a form of both of them. One is hypocrisy and the next one, we see it all
the time, racism. I hate this is the one. This is the one I hate
so much. This is how Paul ends chapter two. He starts out by saying, “Listen, why are you being so critical of each other? Why are you judging each other’s sins when we’re all guilty?” And then he ends it this way, Romans 2:
verses 28 and 29. He says, ‘A person is not a Jew who is one only
outwardly, nor circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a
Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the
Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people,
but from God.” If I can share with you kind of what’s going on here, clearly the
Romans had their values and their way of doing church and they were
holding it against the Jews. Well, the Jews had all of this history-“We are the
circumcised people.” That was something that God led the Israelites to do as
a sign that they would represent the people, that Jesus would
come in and cleanse the world of sin and it was just a sign of commitment, of
relationship, of cleansing. The Jews were like, “Look, we’re the Jewish people. We are
the circumcised ones, we are the chosen ones. You don’t have what we have. You’re
different from us.” And I believe this has been the work of the devil since the
very beginning- to divide us and separate us and to destroy the unity in the body
of Christ and that same spirit is working against us today, and it just
manifest in whole new ways all the time. You know
one of the words for the devil–in Revelation it calls the devil the
accuser of the brethren. It’s always looking for things to accuse you of, to
remind you of your past. “Oh, you think you’re special? You think
you belong to God? You know what you did. You know who you are. You know you’ll
never measure–.” The Bible says the devil’s been doing this to you all day,
every day. You’ve got an accuser whispering in your ear all day long, the
accuser of the brethren, the accuser of the brothers and the sisters. “You know
who you are. You won’t measure up. You’re not a true believer. You’ll never amount
to anything. You know the sin that you commit. You know those secrets,].
You know God can’t forget.” All day every day that’s what he does. The Bible says
one day the accusers mouths gonna be shut forever but you know what that word
is the accuser the accuser the actual Bible word is categories and it’s where
we get the word categories and the devil loves to split us up in the category
weak poor black white brown good bad old young accepted not accepted loves when
that happens in the body of Christ loves to split us up I tell you it is death on
the unity of the body of Christ when we let things like this live into our heart
into our spirit and into our body I pray today and if you come and you can be
white racist black racist brown racist if you come from a family that just
speaks hate toward another people and it even have to be against race just people
who are different for you if you just have discontent or
hatred or ill-will this it is killer it kills the flow of the Holy Spirit in
your life and in our body I pray today that we can be set free from this wicked
spirit of racism I’ll be honest with ya can you just dream with me what heritage
could look like we do okay but dream with me because listen the world’s gonna
do what the world’s gonna do and the and the world’s going to be divided you
gonna always have one government party hating the other you gonna have this
class of people hating this class of people you always gonna have divisions
out in the body you gonna have those categories and you’re gonna have
fighting and infighting you’re gonna have people hating but what if there was
a city on the hill where it was different what if there was a light of
the world where it wasn’t so where people actually came together black
white brown and they ate together they served together they worship together
they loved one another unconditionally they they absolutely would die to
themselves to benefit one another you’ve heard me preacher probably the most
controversial message I’ve ever preached was the message of equality and I’ve
heard every president since the beginning quoted like all men are
created equal the problem with that is it’s not in the Bible actually we’re not
created equal the Bible says we have different gifts we have different
potential we have different spiritual gifts some of us are fast some are slow we’re created very uniquely we’re not
created equal in fact I believe that this pursuit of equality is what’s going
to ultimately tear us down because I believe what the devil’s in game is is
he’s lifting up this value of equality to the point to where listen we have to
value everyone’s beliefs every one’s lifestyle everything is the same
and equal that’s what Satan promised Eve in the garden said I want to make you
equal with God just partake of this fruit God has not called us to equality
he’s called us to something much greater than that something that requires
sacrifice from everyone on us God calls us in Philippians he says even though
Jesus was equal with God he did not consider his equality with God something
to be used to his advantage instead he humbled himself even unto
death on the cross and he says now brothers and sisters I want you to live
with this same spirit not a spirit of equality but a spirit in which you love
one another above yourself I don’t want to love you equal to me I don’t want to
treat you equal to me I want to treat you better than me imagine if people
from the step out of the world where there’s constant fighting and racism in
comparison and this pursuit of equal what they stepped in and they were met
with a wave oh oh you’re better than oh I love you I love you so much
I want to serve to you I want to bless you don’t blow minds
I just do this real quick see if we would if we would just don’t be nervous
and I know when preacher comes into the crowd it’s like don’t make eye contact there’s such a such a weapon that God
gives us it’s weapons of love and kindness and generosity
ma’am I love you so much man would you mind standing with me just for a moment
tell everybody your name do you get to tell us just a little bit about yourself I love this lady so much because almost
every time I see her she just she’s always ready to give me a big old hug
and a kiss I love this lady so much and ma’am I just want to honor you and bless
you for being so faithful to this body for praying for us for incursion thank
you for encouraging me and I just love you so much and I want I want to
encourage you today and so whatever I got in my pocket it just happens to be a
hundred dollar gift card so you just I just want to bless you today and enjoy
yourself today I love you I love you here’s here’s something to try this week
bless somebody like that and then see what happens in your relationship try to
hate somebody who’s blessing you try to hate somebody that you are living to
bless it’s almost impossible and I believe the fruit of God’s Spirit is are
also weapons of his spirit and if we would just use the fruit of the Spirit
love and joy and peace and patience gentleness kindness goodness if we would
use those in our daily lives and the way we treat each other I just want people
to walk in this room I want to say I want to I just honestly and I’m being
real vulnerable here I’m so thankful at the level of diversity we have at this
church because we’ve dreamed from the beginning that heritage will look like
its community but we’re not there yet and I just pray that when people walk in
they would see a stage full of worship leaders from every background and they
would see people greeting from every background and they would see leaders
from the top down from every background rich young old poor black white brown
listen our we if we we’re not finished yet because you’ve heard me say before
we are not a white church we’re black and brown people are welcome we’re not a
black church we’re white and brown people are welcome we are gone
holy church that is called to look like heaven look light our community and we
all have gifts from the Holy Spirit and God put gifts in you that I don’t have
gifts in me and he’s called us to live in unity as one body together so can we
just can we just pray as a body right now let’s just pray is about against
this demonic spirit of racism and division that just seeks to tear us up
and divide us listen if you come from a family where this was promoted or spoken
or given away to you I want to pray for you right now and I pray today that you
take this week take a big leap to overcome that in your life take someone
who’s different from you just ask bless them in some way take them to lunch I’ll
I’ll be on I cannot I cannot sit down with someone for an hour and not fall in
love with him like I can’t listen to somebody’s story and the life that
they’ve been through and not have the heart of God for them so it don’t matter
who it is met with some rough neck people when you hear their story and you
spend time with them suddenly the Spirit of God the spirit of love bubbles up I
call you this week bless somebody that’s different from you if this has been an
area of struggle for you and let’s just actively and intentionally break these
bonds these these chains of division that is keeping us apart in the body
listen the world’s gonna do what it do if the world could come here and see it
done differently if they could see that Koinonia if they could see a fresh new
way of love it would change everything let’s pray let’s pray it’s a passage in Psalms where the
psalmist prayed Oh God search my heart search my heart will you pray that today
will you pray that to God today say God search my heart show me the hypocrisy
God show me where what I say I believe doesn’t look line up with how I live search my heart God showed me where I’ve
been critical of others and yet I’m guilty of the same thing search my heart
God you may be someone that would say there’s not an ounce of racism in me does your life show otherwise does your
inner circle tell on you when you see someone different from you
what comes to mind if it’s anything other than the love of God it’s time to
repent today it’s time for God to do a work in our hearts search our hearts
today God point out any anxious thought any iniquity any wickedness God point
out racism in us today God point out divisive thoughts and beliefs come father I want to start on a personal
level the father help me to be a pastor that calls this community together rich
poor young old black white brown God showed me how to faithfully minister to
this community in a way that shows everyone that they are a valuable
beautiful meaningful purposeful child of the Living God Father give us a church
that looks like our community give us a church that looks like a heaven gone one
day every knee shall bow every tongue will confess that you are Lord God
wai-wait God let it happen now let it happen today let it happen here God
father I ask on behalf of anyone who has shown any racist treatment toward
another human being God forgive us God have mercy God – my brothers and sisters
here today have been us have suffered the effects of racial mistreatment Oh
God I just saved for police forgiveness
please forgiveness we were not in the right spirit we know not what we do to
my black brothers and sisters I love you I love you I believe in you I believe in
the potential that God is put in you I love you I need you I honor you there
are gifts in you that I don’t have and I need to benefit I need to learn from you
I say that to my Hispanic brothers and sisters a love shooter we need you so
love just the way you so deeply love God and each other where I need more that in
my life father we thank you for the gift of
conviction today we pray that you burn within our hearts burn out in hypocrisy
burn out racism burn out division burn out mistreatment of each other God
Father let it start here I pray for our church God will you give us a church
where people walk in and they’re blown away by what they see for they see black
white and brown serving one another serving together talk huddled up talking
and laughing and hugging and crying God give us a church that looks like the
Bride of Christ that looks like all nations coming together God give us a
church give us a church that looks like your bride come father heal us heal us
give us compassion for the people in our lives that don’t look like us father
give us that church we were paired for saying or doing anything that pushes
people out that pushes people away that makes people feel unwelcome gone god I want to pray on behalf of our
nation ho God have mercy on us how divisive we can become how hateful we
can be that spirit of racism that categories that accused her of the
Brethren has had its grips on our nation from the beginning and God we repent
from the years of slavery and horrible mistreatment of each other God but God
it just keeps resurfacing and keeps tearing us down splitting us apart
caught we repent as a nation god of our hatred God we pray for our leaders God
break their hearts humble their hearts God may they cry out to you loving one
another with the Holy Spirit filled love of unity God heal our nation heal our
land Unitas is one family father today may we leave here changed I need your grace God cuz today I’m
gonna let people down and I’m going to disappoint people and I’ve known that
we’re going to neglect people that I love so god I need your grace today I
need your mercy today I need your forgiveness today and God may I show
that same mercy forgiveness in grace to the people you put in my path you’re
here today even for the first time in you and you need to come back to God
you’ve been living life without us I want to invite you home today this is a
kind of love like this is a love that you can’t manufacture it doesn’t it
doesn’t come naturally in the heart of man or woman this only comes from the
Spirit of God so if you need to do life with him today I want to pray for you
today just where you are you just pray this prayer to yourself you just call
out to him just say Jesus I need you I want to live for you I want to know you
I want to I want that kind of love in my life I fall short and I need your mercy
I need your forgiveness I need your grace God I need your patience I need
you to change me from the inside out forgive me God how far should I fall
short God Father fill my life with your presence your spirit and your love make
me a new person from the inside out I want to live for you and your glory I
want to know you got so today I commit myself to you in a brand new way Church let me just tell you there’s only
one thing that can unite us it will not come in the form of a church program it
will not come in the form of a school program it won’t come in the form of the
right laws being passed there’s only one thing that can unite our hearts together
as brothers and sisters and that is the Holy Spirit of God when Jesus is lifted
up and we all come together knees bowed desperate for his presence that is what
unites us when he is Lord he is king then we all come under his umbrella so
mark can we just worship Him to the church can we just be united and
by the name of Jesus the King of Kings the Lord of lords the one who shuts the
mouths of the accuser in our lives and one day that mouth will be shut forever
there’ll be no more death will be no more racism there will be no slave free
new free female we will all be united worship in the name of Jesus come on

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