Episode 062 | What Do We Do Now?

April 25th, 2017

If Jesus says we’re forgiven, why do we still talk about judgment day? And what do you do when you keep asking God to change the way you feel, but nothing seems to be happening? Pastor Matt, Justin and Stephanie walk through your questions about coworkers, God’s judgment and serving at church.

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Summary

Pastor Matt begins this episode by addressing how we can engage with co-workers who are unresponsive to Christianity, those who practice different religions, and the need to build real relationships with them.

The episode continues as Pastor Matt brings clarification about Jesus' teaching concerning forgiveness from Matthew 6.14-15 and Paul's teaching about judgment and individual accountability to God from Romans 14.12.

As the team prepares to debrief Pastor Matt's message, How We Love, they briefly discuss the importance of failure in the life of a Christian and how Jesus can use our failures to brings us to a place of deeper faith and love for others.

Moving into the message debrief, Pastor Matt speaks to the need for discernment when studying the Bible in its original language, issues of the heart concerning service and worship, and how those who serve in the military can pursue an authentic relationship with Jesus while deployed.

Lastly, Pastor Matt, Justin, and Stephanie discuss Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 12 about spiritual gifts and what is truly required for those who seek to serve at church.

Resources

Matthew 6.15 NLT: The verse about forgiving and being forgiven

Romans 14.12: The verse about each of us giving an account to God at the end

Watch Pastor Matt’s sermon about loving Jesus by serving his church

This Week's Topics

How many times should you attempt to invite someone to church after they have bluntly refused, especially in a professional workplace?

Jesus says that if the gospel is rejected, dust off the dirt on your sandals and move on. Often times as Christians we can become fixated on trying to save a person who is not ready to be saved, causing us to miss reaching the people who are ready. We should invite a friend or coworker to church once with an open invitation and if they say no, let it go after that.

My coworker and I have become friends, and our wives have too, but he’s expressed that he’s not at all interested in Christianity, should I still hang out with him outside of work?

We should absolutely maintain relationships with non-Christian friends. The way we move non-believers to the gospel is through relationship. However, we cannot allow our non-Christian friends to influence us in our pursuit to influence them toward the gospel. Paul says in the bible that bad company corrupts good character, if we feel we are losing our faith by being around a non-Christian then we should separate from them.

I want to share the gospel with my Muslim coworker, but not be a jerk for Jesus. How do I do that?

Jesus calls us to take the gospel to other cultures. When trying to share the gospel with someone who has another faith we should be open and honest in communicating that we desire an open dialogue about what we both believe. The best way to share the gospel is by coming from a place of curiosity, so we should get to know the person and what they believe in. It is always a win when we can compare Jesus to other leaders of faith, because there is a stark difference between how we are taught to treat our enemies, how to love our neighbors, and how to treat people of other faith. We shouldn’t slam other people’s beliefs, but simply communicate what we believe.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. MATTHEW 6:14-15 NLT

I thought if we believe in Jesus and accept him as our savior, we are forgiven our sins. Can you please clarify this verse?

Jesus is communicating through this passage that a person who has experienced radical forgiveness is going to give radical forgiveness to others. The gospel meets life when we have to forgive someone who has sinned against us. As Christians we have been forgiven everything, so how could we not forgive others who have committed sins against us? Forgiveness of a person who has sinned against us is a way of releasing judgement to God.

You have said that we will be judged at the end. But what is there to judge if Jesus says we are completely clean?

There is a difference between being condemned for our sin and held accountable for our actions. In Romans it says that “now there is no condemnation.” However, in the same book it says that “we will all give a personal account to God”. As Christians we are still held accountable for everything we have done throughout our lives, but we will vindicated in the end by the blood of Christ. We will not be condemned to death, but all of our works will be judged in the end. At the end of a believer’s life everything that they have done for God will last, and everything else will be burned away.

You mentioned in your sermon this weekend the difference between the greek words for love Jesus used when he was talking to Peter. Words like agape and phileo. Is that something we need to know about?

Greek study is great in passages, but sometimes it is not helpful. The three main words for love in Greek are agape, philia, and arose. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him, and on the third time Peter is deeply hurt. The most important part of this story is not the word for love Jesus used, but actually the charcoal fire that brings Peter back to the moment when he had betrayed Christ for the third time. We should be careful not to focus too much on the language, but instead focus on the point that Christ is trying to make to Peter about his love for Christ being expressed through faith and shepherding of the church.

I worked in retail/customer service for many years and it's left me with a feeling of distaste for people in general. My husband keeps encouraging me to volunteer at church, but I'm afraid I might cause people to leave and not come back. Do you have any advice for me?

Working with people is difficult no matter where it is, and work in customer service often we see the worst side of people. Wives should listen to their husbands and their spiritual leadership, especially in a case like this where your husband is encouraging your involvement in church. We should be with people in community who encourage us to be nice to people. The experiences through work can change our views of people, as Christians we should love and treat other people kindly.

When I get to church on Sundays the happy-go-lucky woman I know myself to be disappears and a cold, hard-hearted woman takes her place. I am praying for God to soften my heart and meet me where I am, why can't I hear him?

When we feel a stirring in our hearts at church - even when that stirring is making us aware of our hardness of heart - we are hearing God meeting us where we are at. The world is not real, church is, and the second we step into God’s house God starts to work in our heart. When we feel uncomfortable about the hardness of our hearts when we walk into church, God is showing us something that the hardness needs to be dealt with. When we are going through something difficult within ourselves we should not feel defeated, instead we should find someone to pray with us after service, to confess to and pray it out, and do it continuously.

I've been missing church community and accountability while serving in the military, do you have any advice for finding community or healing while traveling by myself all the time?

It is very important for Christians who are in the armed services to attend church on a regular basis, wherever they may be. They should also try to seek out a chaplain who loves Jesus that can be there for them. Men in the military should try to find a group of Christian guys who can be there for them while they are serving. Sandals Church has a heart for the men and women in the armed forces and they can also reach out to Sandals Church for support in their relationship with Christ while deployed.

I have felt like I am serving in the wrong place at church (like a hand doing the work of a foot). Am I doing a disservice by not serving in a capacity that uses my gifts? How do I discover what ministry area I belong in?

In 1 Corinthians.12 Paul is not talking about differences in giftedness, he is discussing differences in rank. Paul’s point is that every role is essential. Service is not about ability, it is about humility. There a certain areas that we may not fit or areas that we can better fit into, but the most important aspect of service is a willingness to help. If we don’t know where to serve we should sit down with a leader and communicate our passions and gifts and ask where we can best serve. At Sandals Church we believe that our giftedness is best used in the context of relationships, and we should remember that service is not about us, it is about God. At sandalchurch.com/teams people who would like to serve can get a better idea of what type of opportunities are available.

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