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Faith and Victory Church > Sermons > More Than Coats and Palm Branches
More Than Coats and Palm Branches

More Than Coats and Palm Branches

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@HMSFoster2 – Being born again is the only way. Not declaration, but genuine conversion.

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conversion

  • I see Christians who can’t seem to manage their lives, not walking in the abundance that Christ offers. are they truly converted? Has there been heart change?
  • Christ never intended for you to spend a lackluster destructive sinful life upon your salvation
  • The Bible talks about Suffering, but its suffering for being a Christian, not suffering because you haven’t been renewed by the Holy Spirit and are trying to live for God on your own strength
  • The problem with a lot of people is that they aren’t much different than the story of Mark 11. Going through the motions, just paying lip service, being self serving, basically practicing false religion.  All talk. No conversion. Believing they are doing the right thing but failing.
  • READ Mark 11:1-11
  • There’s some great parts to this story, but the truth of the hearts of crowd is an often overlooked part of this story-
  • Here’s whats going on- The Jewish people of the time are living in Israel and its capital, Jerusalem. Rome had been in control of Jerusalem for about 90 years at this point
  • Ruthless Caesars and leaders who would exploit and control the jewish populace
  • There was a Co-existent relationship between the Pharisees (the Jewish ruling class) they were in bed with Rome. One hand washed the other. Rome allowed the Jews to do whatever religious practice they wanted as long as it didn’t interfere with what they were doing.
  • So its after 90 years of this that Jesus comes into Jerusalem and the people declare that Jesus is their ruler. HE is the king that is going to ‘save them’ from Rome. He is the “savior” the “messiah” that was to come- reestablish the Throne of David, throw over rome, and start a revolution. Change the government. Change their lives.

  • But here was the message of Jesus= Not here to save you from Rome, I’m here to save you from yourself
  • 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
  • Can you imagine a time when people thought a government was going to fix their lives?
  • When their only hope was that they could have a ruler to rule them and a government to take care of them
  • This is when Christianity becomes a religion- when you want to satisfy self and worship idols
  • 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
  • The essence of Christianity isn’t social or political reform, it is repentance and renewal.
  • Jesus destroyed the religious people’s ideas about what was holding them back- Israel thought it was the politics that were holding them back, when the reality is that it was themselves that were holding them back. They needed deliverance from sin not from circumstance.
  • The impact of the triumphal entry is found not just in the story, but in the actions of the people just a few days later
  • As we enter into the end of Mark, chapters 11-16 cover about 7 days of history. This story takes place on a Sunday, and Friday, the hearts and mouths of this crowd will be drastically different
  • The main curve is that they wanted their form of Religion. Their form of politics. Their answer for a king, and when Jesus didn’t fulfill that, they crucified him. They created a false religion not grounded in the essence of Christ. A self serving, intellectual
  • The triumphal entry is a large charade that doesn’t go much farther than the Sunday it happened on. Within a matter of days his kingship is forgotten, his impact lessened, and then they crucify him.
  • How sad it would be if there were gathering places of people where they heralded Christ as king and a week later were crucifying him.
  • What was in the hearts of the people in the crowd that day on the triumphal entry?
  • Hope of Political power

  • 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
  • They were heralding him as king! But the only reason they supported him was because of what they thought he could do for them they thought that Jesus would deliver them from Rome and they would have the power back
  • Understand- this was the religious folk- the Jewish ruling class that were in the crowd in Jerusalem
  • I want to draw your attention to a later part in the story of this week that is found in
  • Luke 22 1-6 READ- THIS IS THE CULMINATION OF A UNCONVERTED RELIGION
  • You’ll notice a few things from this story- 1. The chief priests and scribes want to Kill Jesus 2. Satan Enters Judas 3. Judas confers with the priests and money is exchanged for help with killing Jesus 4. They are glad that Judas has turned and they can kill Jesus
  • What a difference a week makes!
  • Back to Mark- Notice:
  • Temporary Conviction
  • 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ 10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
  • Folks- this is the highest praise! This is the declaration of Kingship of Jesus- and days later- they sell him out for money and give him up for crucifixion- it was all mouth and NO HEART
  • Dude back in youth group- always talked about going marines- ‘twisted knee on helicopter’
  • You see this coming even earlier- a Fleeting Commitment
  • 11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.
  • Whats the culprit in all this? Lack of Conversion- They had no faith they had mental ascension and self serving religion- IF your heart hasn’t been converted- what you say, do, take part in, associate yourself with means exactly NOTHING.
  • False Religion destroys true Faith

Here’s the reality-

  1. The unconverted don’t know Satan is the Father of false religion
  • Satan works behind the scenes trying to ‘sell’ people that their religious practices are enough to please God!
  • “wave your branches and lay down your coats, it makes no difference where your heart is”
  • All of the false religions of the world teach that man can save himself through his acts- he can be ‘good’
  • Mans sinfulness is downplayed and mans goodness is upplayed. You’re good enough to save yourself! Matthew 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
  • This is the false religion of today- it’s the ‘you’re good enough as you are’ Gospel.
  • New Christianity is less about repentance from sin its more about walking in acts of love
  • I don’t hammer the scriptures so you’ll think less of yourself- its so you’ll think more of GOD
  • Somewhere- someone decided telling everyone that God loves them became the Gospel
  • And its TRUE. God DOES love you- IN SPITE of your rotten dung filled heart. God doesn’t love you because you’re worth it, he loves you in spite of your worthlessness. Your sinful heart has no value to God- your regenerated heart has all value. HE comes in, cleans you up, and THEN you have value.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Satan uses false religion more than any other tool to keep men in his domain of darkness.
  • “Satan entered into Judas” (Luke 22:3).

  • 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.
  • What can we learn from the people in the crowd on Palm Sunday and Luke 22?
  • you can be religious, say you’re a Christian and still be a tool of Satan
  • Think about this- The Chief priests and Pharisees believed in YHWH. The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Judas was one of the 12. But they were all used by Satan to crucify Jesus
  • The chief priests and scribes believed in the true God of the Bible, who revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Judas was not just a follower of Jesus, but also one of the twelve. And yet they all were in league with Satan in plotting for Jesus’ death.
  • THESE GUYS KNEW GOD AND WALKED WITH GOD IN THE FLESH AND STILL MISSED IT
  • Professing religion isn’t enough
  • The people in the crowd were professing that were followers of God by spreading coats and branches
  • The religious jews weren’t following a false deity or scriptures, they went to the same Temple as Jesus! They professed that they were followers of the one true God!
  • Knowing about the scriptures isn’t enough!
  • The people in the crowd were quoting scripture! “hosanna hosanna” Quoting the OT
  • People back then knew the Hebrew Bible better than any of us. They could cite long passages by memory, they spoke the original language of Hebrew- but they still missed Jesus as messiah!

  • Having a position isn’t enough
  • The religious leaders of the day had spiritual oversight of over a million jews! But they crucified!
  • Religious ritual is not enough.
  • In the same week they were celebrating Passover they were planning a murder of an innocent!
  • Religious service is not enough.
  • The chief priests gave their lives to serve YHWH and Judas followed Jesus for 3 years
  • Religious affiliation is not enough.
  • Judas was friends with Jesus. The scribes were the movers and shakers of the time
  • Religious experience is not enough.
  • Judas witnessed miracles ,heal the sick and raise the dead, feed the 5,000,walk on the water. But all that experience didn’t keep Judas from turning

  1. At the core of evil religion are the lack of genuine conversion, the rejection of Jesus as Lord, and the promotion of selfish desires under the guise of religious commitment.
  • At the core of Religion is a lack of genuine conversion.
  • People ask- why did Judas turn? Bottom line- he wasn’t converted.
  • Jesus says- if you want to make it to heaven BE CONVERTED! You must be BORN AGAIN by the WATER and the SPIRIT- no conversion- no entry into heaven- Not declaration- CONVERSION
  • What does conversion mean? Its repentance- Turning. Turning from sin towards faith in JC
  • It’s a turning from one path to another path- a DRASTIC turning. Away from the world TOWARDS the ways of God. Decision to go the narrow path to the kingdom of God
  • It’s a change of direction. If your conversion is true it will RADICALLY change the direction of your life. Its not partial. You don’t straddle the fence. Its not rearranging the outward.
  • Repentance isn’t a gradual process- its instantaneous. Sanctification is- Repentance is not.
  • It is a decision to break from the world- its ways- its ethos- its patterns.
  • When someone is converted, saved, born again, it changes their mind, their view, It changes the way they view God, sin, themselves, Christ. There is an EMOTIONAL change because you change what you VALUE and what you LOVE. Your HEART literally changes.
  • Emotionally you have a sorrow of your sins against God, your will changes in that you want to turn towards God and AWAY from SIN. You seek CHRIST for forgiveness.
  • There is such a thing as a false conversion- Matt 7:21 “not everyone who says Lord Lord”

  • Just because you have grief for getting caught doesn’t mean you have repentance towards God
  • Judas was a false convert- no fruit, just words, no death to self, no submission to the Lordship of Christ. No taking up the cross, no obedience, no fruit of repentance, only…..words
  • True conversion? Hatred of sin, turning from the world, pride destroyed, self submitted, faith exercised, Christ revered, loved and Jesus embraced as the only hope to hold on to!
  • Therefore- BE CONVERTED! COME TO JESUS
  • 2 cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
  • Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon
  • Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
  • Acts 2:38  Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
  • Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
  • Luke 13:3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish

 

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