This may be one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself!
our focus is usually outward toward others
What a huge problem today
offended at the drop of a hat
In the church we are not immune
This has some far reaching ramifications
There are rough times ahead!
Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Offended = skandalizō skan-dal-id’-zo To “scandalize”; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): – (make to) offend.
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
It is not only a problem that we will need to deal with in the future – but there are some more immediate ramifications right now
If we choose to not be offended…
We are going to ask some serious questions along the way that you are going to have to answer of yourself
we have already started down the path
There is a pattern that we are getting into
many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another
This has already begun in the church today
We are allowing offenses to separate us;
we are not working together
we talk down or bad about others that we call our brothers
we are not being family
We are allowing ourselves to become offended
we are stumbling over things that we should not
Often we blame others for offenses
Have you become offended by your brother in another organization?
if we are a mature Christian we should be taking the blame ourselves for becoming offended
I know this may seem counter-intuitive
I am not saying that we can go or should go offend
God has a lot to say
KJV: Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
View these in light of why most are not talking and fellowshipping with other church members
How do we let ourselves become offended?
To be clear what we are talking about today.
Not talking about miscommunications; misunderstandings; imaginations
In which one of these ways have we been offended
We can be offended in Word and Deed
Because of people;
James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
KJV: James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
We would be able to control all of our actions
We are to be moving towards perfection
It is interesting though, along this same thought
Not all the words have to be wrong
The Truth can cause offense
This is interesting, who in the church believes that they can be offended by the truth
At one time there was a very good possibility that we were offended by the truth
but what is scarier is that we are offended NOW
His way are not our ways
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
We are carnal
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Many were going to be offended by JC;
it is the nature of God vs the nature of man
Isaiah 8:13 The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.
Isaiah 8:14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Isaiah 8:15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.”
Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples. [point of demarcation]
see about the law here again
Matthew 15:1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
Matthew 15:2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
Matthew 15:3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Matthew 15:7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
Matthew 15:8 ‘THESE PEOPLE DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.
Matthew 15:9 AND IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.’ “
Matthew 15:10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand:
Matthew 15:11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
Matthew 15:12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
Matthew 15:13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
EX: let the dead bury the dead
John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
John 6:54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
John 6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
John 6:61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
John 6:67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
John 6:68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Are we offended by the law, by the word of God
Now this is an interesting one since we all believe that we have the truth
Yet we are letting wrong doctrine divide us
Offended by the truth when in conflicts with our ways and belief system
Matthew 13:20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
Matthew 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I WILL STRIKE THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK WILL BE SCATTERED.’
People Who try to offend – Tares
There are those that practice offense
Matthew 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
Matthew 13:25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
Matthew 13:26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
Matthew 13:28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
Matthew 13:29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ “
Do we u/s this?
There are those that are actively trying to do this
Caused by the lawless conduct of those among the brethren
Matthew 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them,
Matthew 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS KEPT SECRET FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”
Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
Matthew 13:37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
Matthew 13:40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Matthew 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
There are going to be false ministers
We have addressed this recently and in the past
We do not follow or have a part of this
In the end there are going to be humans – whether imperfect or malicious
Lack of faith / fear
John 12:42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;
John 12:43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
How are we to approach this situation
Love God’s Law
Very powerful scriptures
Psalms 119:165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.
We have been given the power and ability and know how not to fail or fall
God tells us in advance, so that we can be aware and ready to handle the potentially offensive situations that ARE going to come our way.
John 16:1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. [same word as offend]
John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
John 16:3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
John 11:9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
John 11:10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Luke 6:36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. [Extend Mercy]
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
What did JC do for us?
How is it that we are unwilling to do this for someone else?
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against
another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Example of Stephen
Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,
Acts 7:53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.“
Acts 7:54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
Acts 7:56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
Acts 7:57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;
Acts 7:58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Acts 7:60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
In this most extreme circumstance
he did not become offended
instead he forgave
Extra: 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
How to deal with an offensive person
What can a 2-year old say to offend you?
Why is this the case
Ecclesiastes 7:21 Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
Ecclesiastes 7:22 For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others.
Should give us ability to do this:
Proverbs 11:12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace.
Act, don’t React
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
Don’t let emotions dictate actions
Proverbs 14:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated.
Be slow to anger
James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
James 1:20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Become the better Christian … by showing your actions
Example of the Canaanite Woman
Attitude, Perspective and Humility
Matthew 15:21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Matthew 15:22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
Matthew 15:23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Matthew 15:25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
Matthew 15:26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
Matthew 15:27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
The difference is the attitude
Attitude, Perspective and Humility
Eye on the goal
Understand that we do not have the right to be offended
Can I put this another way?
What are we willing to give up so that we can claim some right of offense?
Let me put it one more way
When we are offended we are being an offense to Christ
did you know that this was possible?
Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Matthew 16:22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
Matthew 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
[Tie in with beginning; one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourself comes by denying “the self”; in the end it is still not about us but about others. We are to show our brothers greater love than ourselves by not being offended ]
What JC did for us
Romans 4:22 And therefore “IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
Romans 4:24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
Romans 4:25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
Who has offended you?
Should you let that offense keep you separate from your brother?
What are you going to do about it?