series: Red Letter City
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: May 1, 2016
scriptures: Matthew 5:21-26, Psalm 145:8-9, 1 John 4:8, Ephesians 4:25-27, Ecclesiastes 7:9, Hebrews 12:14-15, Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, Ephesians 2, 1 John 4:19-21
This is an issue that a lot of people deal with… and for most of us, the way we deal with it is to stuff it. The problem is that the things you stuff tend to grow roots in the grounds of your heart… Hebrew calls it a “root of bitterness,” - what happens is, if you never process your feelings, you will get so used to having them that you will begin to justify them. Because they will feel natural to you. And what Jesus is saying here is that when that happens, things can get very ugly very very quickly.
and then there is this:
A lot of people have what I call an “Angry God syndrome.”
They have this idea in their head that God is mad at everybody all the time… and they paint this picture of a God who is upstairs waiting, rubbing his hands together in excitement, licking his lips in anticipation of the moment when he gets to finally bring judgment on our nation, and on this group of people, and on this type of person. and the bible does talk about God being angry with wickedness, and there is plenty of talk in the bible about God’s judgment…
But here is the issue.
and this is why the sermon on the mount is so incredibly crucial to our lives... Because people believed all sorts of things about God back then… things that were not right.
Things that were not love.
AND people today believe all sorts of things about God that are not right. Things that are not love.
and whatever you think that God is like, if you truly believe you are a follower of him then you are going to try and be that… Isn’t that what Jesus says in Luke? A disciple is not better than his teacher, but he will be like him.
So we have this nation of “Christians” who want to be like God…
but they think God is angry all the time!
and this leads to all sorts of problems. Because if God hates this type of person, then you can hate this type of person.
Because we are just trying to be like God.
So… as people who have Jesus in our lives… who are disciples of Jesus and who want to be more like the God that we serve… I think that it is incredibly important that we understand what God is like.
Does God ever get angry? Yes.
Is God living in a constant disposition of anger toward the world? No.
the rest is in the sermon.