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In this week’s passage, Jesus speaks strong words about judgment and hell. They often make us uncomfortable as modern people, but we would do well to listen carefully to His wise words regarding how we can be saved.

TRANSCRIPT

INTRODUCTION 

Morning.  Well, God continues to do great things here at Renovation Church…as we’ve grown by another 80-100 people in just the last year. 

And that, has enabled us to hire another pastor on our staff, which we’re really excited about. 

We’ve recently hired Josh Pollard as our new Adult Ministries Pastor. 

I’m going to call Josh on stage now. 

Josh will be overseeing our Volunteer Ministries, Mission Trips, outreach programs like Sheridan Story & Provide, and all things House Groups (with the exception of I’ll still be doing the videos) 

I wanted to introduce him to you today…so you could meet him. 

 

So Josh, tell us a little bit about yourself…where you came from, your family, schooling. 

 

Tell us why you’re excited to be pastoring here at Renovation Church.  

 

How excited are you, on a scale of 1-10 for Minnesota Winters? J 

 

PRAY FOR JOSH 

 

Josh will be out in the hallway after the service and he’d love to meet you.  

 

 

INTRODUCTION / 72 SENT OUT 

All right, we are continuing in the Book of Luke today.   

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(renovation app) 

We are going to actually skip over the very last passage in Luke 9, as Ben Pierce gave a great message about that exact passage just last year called “Enemies of Impact” if you want to look it up.  

We’re going to do 16 verses today, but we’ll be heavily focused on the second half. 

Let’s read the first half, and I want to make a comment or two

(Luke 10:1-9) – NIV 

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

This passage is actually quite similar to the beginning of Luke chapter 9 where Jesus sends out the 12 disciples to preach…

Except now he’s sending out 72 others to preach. 

Once again, in the Gospels, we see Jesus point out that the Harvest (the number of people who need God) is plentiful…

But we are lacking in…is workers. 

We’re lacking in people who will say, “I’ll go!  I’ll share my faith” 

Still others to say, “I’ll go to the nations…I’ll give my life to ministry” 

Speaking of, I want to thank the 20 of so of you that are taking the risk to go and help us start yet another church….Transform Church…on the Ham Lake/Andover border.  

That’s not actually that far from here… 

But keep in mind two things. 

1) As our church plant goes West…We are moving a few miles to the East very shortly…as we’re breaking ground on our new building in just over 9 months!! 

2) There are over 100,000 people who don’t know Christ just in Ham Lake, Andover, Blaine, and Coon Rapids alone. 

If anything, we should plant 10 more churches in those cities, not 1.  

So again, a big thank you to the now over 40 people we’ve sent out from here in the last 12 months to go help start churches and expand the Kingdom of God! 

 

 

LOVE & WRATH 

Let’s continue in our passage…

Jesus, out of love, has sent his messengers out with the message of repentance and salvation…

Because, without salvation, people will be lost for all of eternity.  

Let’s take a look now at these challenging words from Jesus

 (Luke 10:10-16) – NIV 

10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. 

16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

This is a hard word from Jesus. 

Especially for modern-day people like us

Today’s message might be one of the top 10 most intense messages I’ve ever preached in 750 messages. 

If you’re new around here, this isn’t necessary a normal Sunday.  

But this is what Jesus indeed said in the Bible, and I think we would be foolish to avoid it, just because it’s hard. 

So Jesus is talking about God’s wrath and judgment 

And many people want to take these words and rip them right out of the Bible. 

We prefer a different type of Jesus. 

For example, Matthew, records these exact same words about God’s judgment in chapter 11 of his Gospel. 

And only FOUR verses after Jesus speaks about judgment and hell…

…Jesus says his famous words, “Come to me, all who are weary & burdened, and I will give you rest” 

And we LOVE that part!

But we don’t like what Jesus said 20 seconds earlier about judgment and hell. 

But we don’t get to pick one or the other. 

They actually don’t make sense without each other. 

They work beautifully together. 

Jesus’ warning is sandwiched between two loving invitations to come to Him. 

If God was only a God of justice, but not of mercy (or love)

We’d all be doomed, right? 

We need his mercy and love for our mistakes, our sins. 

But what if God was a God of only mercy and love, but NOT of justice?  

That’s exactly the God that many people in Western society want to create

The problem is: A God with no justice for sin is a weak, apathetic, and powerless God

That’s a god that looks down on the Hitlers and Bin Ladens…and shrugs his shoulders. 

That’s a god that apparently doesn’t care about rape, or injustice…or racism…or evil. 

When we say, “We just want a God of Love,” we’re then saying (whether we realize it or not), that we don’t want God to be moral

YET, I find that in our age, people are fiercely moral.  

Go online and read any news site…left or right…and you’ll find people are quite angry some sort of injustice. 

Could be global warming or poverty…perhaps abortion or sexual sin. 

Think of the top 2 or 3 things that just make you angry about the state of the world 

Now imagine that those things don’t make God angry…that He has NO sense of justice…no anger towards those engaging in acts of racism or scamming the elderly or injustice. 

I was just reading the other day about little children being cast into slavery in Pakistan…forced to make bricks at the age of 5

Am I to believe that God doesn’t believe that certain things are indeed wrong…and worthy of justice? 

Am I to believe that God just sheepishly smiles at children being ripped away from their mothers and thrown into the world of sex trafficking?   

To which most people would reply, “Well, no, of course God will bring justice on THOSE things!”

See, once we start rachet it up a bit…and start talking about corrupt political leaders, and genocidal murderers, most of the world is actually…out for blood! 

They want justice! 

But really, what they’re saying, “God ought to bring justice on those people…but not me” 

“For me…just a God of love” 

Do you see our hypocrisy in that?  Our inconsistency? 

But we say, “My sins are different…they’re not as serious.”

Okay, where do you draw the line? 

And who gets to decide where the line is drawn?

We each do??

That sounds convenient. 

No, the true picture that the Bible paints of God is actually brilliant 

We’re told that we’re all sinners…it’s what comes most natural to us. 

And for sin, there must be justice.  A reckoning. 

ALL sin must be paid for. 

Including yours and mine. 

But when God is a God of justice AND of love …you get Jesus and the cross. 

God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross…to absorb the just wrath that was meant for your sin.    

And if you believe in Jesus (if you become His follower), the punishment will go on Him…not you. 

And you will be completely forgiven.  Saved. You will get eternal life in heaven. 

 

 

THE TOWNS 

Now that we’ve established that, let’s dive deeper into this passage. 

For the towns that reject the message of Jesus’ 72 messengers, Jesus says: 

(Luke 10:12) – NIV 

12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 

If you go back to the book of Genesis in the Bible, you’ll see that God was incredibly angry with the sheer wickedness of the town of Sodom  

He sent angels to it, and the men of the town tried to rape the angels.  

God couldn’t even find 10 people in the whole town that weren’t completely immersed in wickedness. 

And so God rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah and they were destroyed. 

So, bearing that in mind, Jesus then says, “On the day of judgment” (that’s what “The day” means in the Bible) it will be more bearable for the people of Sodom…than the people of the towns who are now rejecting the 72 people Jesus sent out. 

Why?  

Well, because Sodom didn’t have people sent by Jesus himself…preaching the GOOD NEWS of the Kingdom. 

Jesus articulates this point a bit more when he mentions a few more towns in the next few verses: 

(Luke 10:13-15) – NIV 

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. 

Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum are all towns along the Sea of Galilee.  

These are the towns where Jesus did a ton of ministry in front of thousands of people 

The miraculous feeding of the 5,000 most likely took place here

He did miraculous healings here. 

Yet apparently, many people in these towns…after seeing the Son of God IN PERSON…and witnessing miracles IN PERSON…

Still didn’t turn their lives over to God. 

And again, he compares those towns to other towns of the past…Tyre and Sidon 

These were Gentile cities north of Galilee and on the Mediterranean coast. 

In the Old Testament, the prophets often condemned these two cities in particular for their pagan worship…

…and because of their pride in their culture, trade, and wealth.  

Think of these cities like that of New York or Los Angeles

Business and Cultural centers. 

But there weren’t a high amount of people in their cities following God 

But again, Jesus says something shocking. 

He says, on judgement day, it’ll be better off for those people (from those big cities)…than the people who heard the truth from Jesus, but didn’t change their lives…that didn’t repent. 

 

THE EXTREME DANGER OF FAMILIARITY 

This is intense isn’t it? 

I want to acknowledge that. 

But this is one of the reasons we go verse by verse through a book of the Bible. 

Because otherwise, we would never say, “you know what would make for a good message, that one where Jesus talks about how it will be more bearable on judgment day for other people than people like us!  That sounds fun!” 

But He said it…so what do we do with it? 

We start to take it seriously. 

We stop avoiding it by trying to rationalize hell away with weak cultural arguments…like, “That kind of God doesn’t make sense to our culture” 

And we stop filing God’s judgment in the back of our minds like it’s not really true.  

As the great AW Tozer once said:  

“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws every day nearer and the command to repent goes unregarded.” – A.W. Tozer 

It’s not convenient for us to THINK about God’s justice. 

It’s not pleasant for us to contemplate hell

And so we don’t, and pastors skip those passages…and maybe we glaze over them when we read ourselves. 

But friends, these are the words of the Son of God. 

We can’t afford to ignore them. 

Let me ask you a question: Is JESUS LYING when He says this? 

No? 

Then judgment for choosing to ignore his salvation is real. 

And every single person in this room will be in heaven OR hell after they die. 

Every single person in this room will be judged for their sin. 

The question is will you let Jesus take the punishment for you by giving your life to Him? 

Or will you take it yourself and go to hell? 

And we must humbly and fearfully acknowledge that now that we know the truth…to reject it is serious business. 

Jesus told His followers to publicly go out into the streets of any city that rejected Him. 

And his followers would take their sandals off while everyone watched.  

And then wipe the dust from their feet…saying, “The Kingdom of God has come near to you (you’re not like one who will never hear)…and you’ve rejected it” 

“And thus so will God reject you on judgment day.” 

This is hard isn’t it? 

But it’s the Word of God. 

God is saying, “If I let my son be bruised and battered, and bleed for you on the cross…and you say, ‘No Thanks” 

“If that won’t convince you of my love for you…than nothing ever will…and thus, you will never want to be with me…even in the after life” 

And as if this message isn’t intense enough, Jesus takes it up to a notch 

TWICE in this section, he says that judgment will be more tolerable for the people of those wicked cities…than for the people who heard the message right in front of them. 

Do you know what he’s saying? 

He’s saying, “Judgment will be more tolerable for the people of Amsterdam, the people of Bangkok…then it will be for the people of Blaine, MN…that are sitting in Renovation Church…but still refuse to accept the gift of forgiveness from my Son” 

The more we hear of God’s truth, the more we are accountable for it. 

 

 

THE GOSPEL 

And so I ask you…have you truly given your life to Jesus Christ? 

It’s not enough to just think favorably of Jesus…

It’s not enough to just ask Him for help sometimes…

It’s not enough to just like Him…and not love Him. 

That’s what the crowds at Bethsaida and Capernaum were doing

They listened to his teachings…we’re told that they were actually AMAZED at the things He did. 

But what we’re they lacking? 

Look at verse 13 one more time: 

(Luke 10:13) – NIV 

 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  

The people of Galilee were impressed with Jesus, but they didn’t repent. 

They liked Him…but that was it. 

To repent means to say, “God, I’m not going to live this way anymore…

Repent means to TURN…

It means to say, “Jesus, I’m done living for me…I’m living fully for you!  I love you” 

To repent is to therefore is to DIE to your old life…your old ways…

And throw yourself fully upon living for Jesus who loved you and wants to save you. 

All of us have sinned. 

We all have made mistakes. 

If you were to play the video of even just my 10 biggest sins and mistakes from my life…I don’t think I could even bear to watch. 

I deserve the holy and just wrath of God for what I’ve done.

We all do.  

And yet, after seeing the mess I would make of my life…God still decided to put that wrath (meant for me) on His own son instead. 

Can you believe that someone loves you that much? 

That Jesus would know all of your ugliness and then take the wrath for it on Himself?  

That’s the truth that sits in front of you plainly now. 

To do anything but attempt to fully give your life back to this loving God is to reject him. 

It’s to say you “like Him, but don’t love Him” 

He’s not looking for you to squeeze Him in here or there, He died for you…

He’s looking for you to die to your old life and surrender yourself to God.  

For many of you in here, this message just means it’s time to get serious about Him again. 

Life is short. 

And for some of you in this room….if you’re here…and you’ve never surrendered your life to Jesus Christ before, today is your day. 

If you’ve been stuck just “liking Jesus,” but not surrendering to Him…

It’s time to surrender. 

If you’ve never believed that He died on the cross for your sins…and thus dedicated your life as a follower of his….

I want to give you an opportunity to do so.  

This is how we’re forgiven. 

Here’s what we’re going to do. 

I’m going to invite the band back up here now…and we’re going to do a final song. 

And if you’re ready to become a follower of Jesus, to accept his gift of forgiveness by letting God’s justice fall on Him on the cross, and not you.  

If you’re ready to surrender your life to Christ for the first time…I want you at any time during this song, to walk up to the front (right here in front of the stage). 

I don’t care if your 12 or 82.  

If it’s time to give your life to Christ, come forward and stand in the front by me. 

And don’t say, “But I might be embarrassed.” 

Listen, you’re not going to die, be sentenced to hell, and say, “Oh good, at least I wasn’t embarrassed in church that one day” 

If God is telling you in your heart that you need to surrender your life to Christ, come forward at any time during this song, and then I will pray for you to close out the service. 

Let’s worship.


Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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