Matthew 5. The sermon taught by Christ himself. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy." (Wonder what happens to the unmerciful.) "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Wow. What a blessing.) "In the same way, let your light shine before me, that they may see your good works, and give God glory." (Good works? What's that?) "Anyone who breaks the least of these commandments, and teaches others to to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be caled great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness suprasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Let's see, the Pharisees were really into that judging stuff, they were really great about not showing forgiveness or love to anyone they could judge instead. But wait! Oh, didn't Christ say, "The second greatest of these if love?" ) "If you are offering your gift at the alter, and then remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." (Gee, God doesn't even want your gift until you make peace!) "You have heard it said, 'eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strieks you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well." (Hmmmmm. Don't hit back. Give above and beyond what they demand.) "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor, and hate your enemies. But I tell you; Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Here is that answer to "Does he love the non-elect". "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and teh unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Apparenly God loves you, even if you DON'T love Him back. "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (How more blunt does that need to be? If you don't forgive, God won't forgive you.) "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (I've seen a lot of people try to twist that. I think Christ is pretty straight forward though. He doesn't say, "do not judge unless its really bad". He doesn't say, "Do not judge unless they are a fellow believer." He doesn't say, "do not judge unless they are pagans." He says, "DO NOT JUDGE." Why do you people try to twist Christ's words? "Watch out for false prophets. They will come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." (Hmmm. Wonder if that has anything to do with people who want to teach hate in Christ's name?) "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles. Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you, away from me you evildoers." (Gee, wonder if that has anything to do with His telling us that love was the most important commandment of all?) My favorite passage of late: Matthew 9:10-12 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (God desires mercy. Stop and think about that. Christ wants mercy.) Matthew 10:7 "As you go, preach this message; The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, clense those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freeling give. Do not take along any godl or silver or copper in your belts. Take no bag for the journey. ... (What did receive freely from Christ? Did we freely get condemnation and judgement? I thought we were freely given forgiveness, mercy, and love. Guess we're better than Christ huh? We don't have to mess with those last three anymore, we can just be hateful and judgmental and stop all that "heretitical love talk".... *rolls eyes*) Oh wait, geeze, PROBLEM with that - verse 24 says, "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." Looks I am NOT above Christ after all, maybe I DO have to freely give love, forgiveness and mercy. Oh wow, here it is again, in Chapter 12: If you had known what these words men, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." That's TWICE now He mentioned wanting mercy. Matthew 15:8 "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." (WOW. You think there was a reason Christ quoted that when the Pharisees were complaining about people breaking tradition? Think it MIGHT apply today? Or was it just thrown into God's holy word as an after thought?) Matthew 18:21 "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times. Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." This is followed by a parable of a man who was forgiven a debt, then refused to forgive a debtor, who was called back and told because he did not forgive he would not be forgiven. It endes with vs 35: This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (There it is again. As you judge you will be judged, as you forgive you'll be forgiven, show mercy and get mercy, show none, get none.) Matthew 19:17-19 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments. "Which ones" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself. There it is again. LOVE. Gee, that must get annoying to people who keep trying to explain it away out of scripture. Everytime they explain away one verse, Christ throws in another verse saying, "LOVE". Note - it doesn't say, "Love your brother," doesn't say, "Love your fellow Christian," doesn't say, "Love the righteious." Just says, "Neighbor." Matthew 22:34-39 Hearing that jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Wow - ALL the law hangs on love. ALL of it. So, God has said "love is the most important commandment," and God has said, "Everything else hangs on love," why, why, oh why oh why do some of you claim to be Christian while trying to devaluate the importance of Love? Ever read Matthew 23? It can be a rather frightening chapter of God's word. "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples. The teachers of the law and hte Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them, and do everything they tell you, but do not do what they do. Do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for me to see; They make their phylacteries wide and the tassles on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the markeplaces and to have men call them Rabbi. But you are not to be called Rabbi, for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher" for you have one teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and wholever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of God in men's faces. You do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hyprocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. Woe to you blind guides. [/b] Matthew 25:35 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared foryou since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed, or thirst and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. " (Wow, helping others, even the worst sinners, is a gift to God.) "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. I needed clothes and you did not clothe me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and did not help you? He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (THINK about that. When you teach that some are unworthy of Christian love and kindness you have become an angel of Satan.) That's the end of Matthew on Love.