The City was Moved

  • Matthew 21:1-11 All the city was moved. 
  • V 10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
  • The whole city was moved. Pretty spectacular that a whole city would be moved by Jesus and what was going on. 
  • What’s going on in this story- this is the triumphal entry- the time when Jesus comes into Jerusalem- he’s declaring that he’s king of Jews- and the people are believing it! They call out “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
  • This is some high praise! This is a powerful declaration! It would be akin to a man coming in on a limo in DC and everyone shouting- “here’s our President- here’s our leader- This is the one who will save us” 
  • You can see how the power brokers of this time would find it troublesome- 
  • beginning of passion week- to the Crucifixion- This is day 1 and he’s going to the cross on 6
  • This is the issue for me in this scripture- they go from Hosanna to crucify him in 6 days (5 really)
  • How? It Was either false profession or false conversion. A transient belief that quickly turned. 
  • Was it self serving or short sighted? Did they not think it through? Did they just want deliverance from their circumstances and didn’t count the cost? Where were they at?
  • This isn’t a far fetched idea. I’ve seen many a convert that didn’t stick in my tenure. 
  • Going all the way back to high school- summer camp confessions, rock concerts, power teams, outreaches, churches. Hands raised, tears flowed, baptisms done, promises made and poof!
  • It’s sad really. The revolving nature of commitment and conversion that doesn’t take. 
  • Jesus spoke about it- The parable of the wheat- the wheat and the weeds grow up together.  parable of the sower-  some seed falls on good ground- some falls on bad ground- some gets carried away. He talked about the Sheep and the goats and how they will be separated. 
  • I’m sure if you’re listening and you’ve been around- these themes about conversion and commitment seem to flow throughout many of our sermons. 
  • For some people- this may be concerning, you’re asking why, why this focus? Because there are problems within Christianity that must be remedied. This isn’t a season of potlucks and car washes- This is a season of separation and dividing. The forces of Satan are attempting to destroy the local church at all costs. This isn’t chicken little prognostication- we’ve moved past conjecture and fear mongering to blatant frontal attacks on the church. 
  • 36 months ago- would you think? not allowed to gather, worship, serve? National politicians ostracizing those who hold to traditional values as a threat to democracy? Transgenderism being at the forefront of education? and of this week the ADA? Pronoun army in full effect
  • We’ve got pastors publicly leaving the church, walking away from orthodoxy, in jail etc. Religious participation is declining, rampant lawlessness, crime, legalized drugs, etc etc. 
  • The church doesn’t need anymore false converts- it doesn’t need to water down the message, coerce people to a prayer and send them out into the world hoping they make heaven. 
  • “they were moved’ Yes- yes they were moved. Being around Jesus is powerful!
  • But here’s what happens before the crucifixion- 
  • Jesus cleanses the temple, curses the fig tree, asserts his authority, tells some parables that puts people in their place, gives them some theology lessons, tells some guys they are going Hell, tells them to tithe, calls people hypocrites, cries over Jerusalem, predicts the temple is going to be destroyed, talks about the end times and the tribulation, His eventual return after resurrection, talks about Hell some more, challenges people, parables about working hard, and judgment- I mean he kind of puts them through the ringer. Maybe they just had enough of what Jesus was spouting off
  • Maybe the things Jesus preached at them changed their hearts from hosanna to crucify him
  • What they wanted and what Jesus wanted may not have been the same- They wanted deliverance from their circumstances- power over government- a easy ticket to Heaven. To be served and saved
  • Jesus didn’t offer that- He offers eternal life, a right relationship with God, ticket to heaven. 

So what do we do with this reality? What do we apply to our own situation today?

  1. Don’t be a false convert. 
  • There’s nothing wrong with taking a consistent spiritual inventory- 2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. Lamentations 3:40 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord;
  • The reality is that false converts make their way into the church- Jude 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Uncomfortable preaching will convict them or repel them. It never discourages the converted. Ever. Converted people who love Jesus are not condemned by preaching condemnation. 
  • What are the marks of a false convert?
  • Lip service- 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.
  • This was what was going on with the people in this story- Hosanna hosanna but no heart change- Their hearts were somewhere else because it didn’t stick. 
  • This is what we do- we have a profession of Faith in Christ that becomes a public confession to others- and when we’re held accountable for our actions the truth of our heart comes out
  • many meetings where I asked people to forgive where they refused. Promises to God and others that were not kept. Smiles and words that hid secrets of deceit and destruction
  • Man pleasing- Isa 29:13 And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
  • These guys seemingly were following the crowd hoping that their external conformance to the group was enough to please God- it isn’t because they would have KEPT their commitment. 
  • There are many people who practice churchianity- they follow the ‘rules’ of the church thinking that it brings righteousness- its not in a fear of God- 
  • In this Church- and let me digress- legalism is putting something on someone that isn’t their conviction because they haven’t been renewed- It produces outward conversion only- stop creating false convert. 
  • Example- Smelling like alcohol, someone’s dress, language, worship style etc. shut up! Let God do it! They’ll get there- We don’t need a bunch of pharisees around here- (not tolerating sin- but discerned the regenerated from the unregenerate- we’re a growing church) 
  • Disobedience and selfish gainEzekiel 33:31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.
  • Power- prestige- influence- Control- These are the marks of false conversion- The crowd wanted rome overthrown- Jesus to reign as king of the jews. 
  • Same in church- Want influence bc none at home/work Want prestige in small setting
  • Holding it together for 90 min and then drunk, porn, fighting, stealing, envy etc. 
  • UnbeliefHebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
  • If they truly believed that Jesus was who he said he was- their belief wouldn’t be transient- it would have lasted longer than 6 days- This is my king! Don’t crucify him!
  • You may be surrounded by those who believe and secretly in your heart or even verbally discount the belief that someone else has in God- just because you have unbelief!. 
  • External fruit with no internal desire. Jer 12:2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; They grow, yes, they bear fruit. You are near in their mouth But far from their mind.
  • From the outside most would assume that anyone who has external fruit has internal conviction- but this isn’t the case!
  • Act like a Christian to make Christian friends- seen it many times- Hold it together and have friends. Some people are willing to even pay tithe, serve and sing to fight loneliness! 
  • Now- Some these may be true of our own walk at times- 
  • Lip Service- I’ve had thoughts in worship that aren’t on God- Man Pleasing- I’ve made decisions that protected me from men Disobedience- I’ve disobeyed God and pushed for my own gratification External fruit- times where my fruit was contrived and my heart was sour. 
  • I hope you can be honest enough to admit it- I am. I know the nature of my transient heart. 
  • I am not a false convert but I know that Satan would love to turn me to his side. 

Why is this important?

  • Anyone of us could fall away, have transient faith that doesn’t endure to the end!
    There’s some of you that may be false converts- faking it- not truly saved- wake up and repent!
  • People separate from the faith often- 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
  • Don’t come at me with this once saved always saved- Angels rebelled before the earth was formed and they had the perfect leader. Judas turned on Jesus. Don’t tell me God made those people do that that he made angels rebel to create Satan. Was he just wanting a challenge?
  • No- Freewill always produces sinners, but it also produces Saints who CHOOSE to follow. 
  • A mind that is set on Christ can become corrupted- 2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
  • If you do not ‘set your mind’ it can become corrupted- Col 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
  • The earth has beliefs that can corrupt you! This is why I don’t watch worldly documentaries about the Bible, exposes on the church, arguments against Christianity, NOT IN MY HEAD
  • ‘I’m just going to fantasize about another woman in my mind wont affect marriage’ NO
  • Fruit that becomes sour-
  • A good tree bears good fruit, but it has to be in good soil- Go start hanging out with bad soil and watch what happens to your fruit. 
  • I was saved in the Army but I cussed A LOT in basic. Everyone else was! I just acquiesced to the surroundings I was in! I was the speck in the sea! A little leaven leavens the lump!
  • 2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
  • A faith that becomes unbelief- Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
  • These are the truths that if not held will bring destruction- 1. Bible has errors 2. Sin doesn’t separate- thee are no standards but love 3. Tithing isn’t for today 4. Jesus hung with sinners 5. Church isn’t essential 6. I am spiritual but not religious 7. God may be 
  • Obedience that becomes disobedience. 2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 

Whats the remedy?

  • Stay in repentance- Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
  • Keep a heart of repentance- constantly turning from sin- and fruit will FLOW
  • Stay in sound doctrine- 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 
  • 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,
  • Beware! Stay in the fight! Watch your heart to make sure it doesn’t turn!
  • 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
  • When you see the seed of unbelief- squash it- (read pastor argue about immorality- rebuke)
  • Stay Disciplined- 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
  • Watch yourself! 5 mins become 15 to 30 to an hour to a day weekend week month year. 
  • It doesn’t take much to get off the path- Bible, exercise, church, saving, eating, etc. 
  • The trend can change very quickly!. One day can quickly become a trend!
  • Don’t get offended- Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
  • You have to learn the offense hurdle- Either from me, or another brother- If you cannot overcome the offense hurdle- you will move to hatred and you will fall away- 
  • That seed of offense has turned many away from the faith “church hurt” “pastor hurt” etc
  • Watch out for your brother- James 5:19-20 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. 
  • We have to watch out for one another- but that’s one on one discipleship- not blanket statements that put a yoke of bondage on the unsaved- love someone enough for 1-1
  • Stay in Love- Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
  • Remember what it was like when you first started dating? How you prepared yourself for your date? The care and concern you took? The way you looked, smelled, acted, etc?
  • And then complacency set in and you became familiar and they became common
  • You compare them to other people, find fault with them and take no care. 
  • You stopped thinking about what you were doing and trying to win them and took them for granted
  • What was it like when you were first saved? What was your first love? How did you act?
  • Don’t leave your first love- Don’t go from Hosanna to Crucify him. 
  • Revelation 3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

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