Rebuke The Cities

  • Matt 11:20-24 Here’s what I want you to get out of this sermon- You need to repent. Right now. What does that mean? It means to turn from your sin and turn towards God. It means to receive forgiveness by faith. Walk in the grace that Jesus provides. Live securely in his Grace
  • Often times I get feedback that I talk about repentance too much or that is all I talk about- 
  • We go through the Bible. That’s what we do here. Book by book. Chapter by chapter. Line by line.- and this book talks about repentance a lot because God wants you in rel. with him. 
  • This book is intended to draw you to God. It is its purpose. Its why I say it’s a holiness story
  • Ezekiel 14:6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.
  • Joel 2:12“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
  • Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
  • 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,
  • The reason the sermons always talk about repentance is that the Bible always talks about it
  • The whole Idea of a sermon is that there is something you don’t know or something that you aren’t doing that needs to change. Unless its just an informational sermon. I don’t do those
  • So at this point in the story- Jesus has just been talking to his disciples and now he begins to rebuke entire cities for rejecting his message- Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
  • This passage- is contrasting three Jewish towns where he has performed many signs, with three Gentile cities known for such extraordinary wickedness as to deserve God’s destruction,
  • on the Day of Judgment the Jewish towns will be judged more harshly, because of their greater unwillingness to repent even though they saw Jesus and his miracles. 
  1. If you don’t repent, Jesus will rebuke you
  • Jesus rebukes those who don’t repent- and he is doing it here in Matthew 11:20
  • Matthew 11:20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you
  • Now rebuke just means correction- and Jesus spent much of his preaching time correcting wrong thoughts, ideas and motives- he rebuked a lot. But here it’s a whole city
  • Chorazin is part of the “evangelical triangle” with Capernum and Bethsaida
  • Jesus rebukes them for their lack of repentance- not for the sins they performed
  • His rebuke is because they were ones who saw his miracles, saw his power, experienced God in the flesh- but they didn’t repent. They didn’t turn towards God in thankfulness
  • Can you imagine, Jesus rebuking the whole city? (in formation- all getting smoked after chapel) 
  • Remember- Jesus is stern with them and rebukes them  in love– sternness does not equal unloving- Sternly rebuking someone can sometimes be the most loving thing you can do
  • Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed.
  • This is quite loving because he’s giving them an opportunity to fix it before its too late. 
  • Man- he lays it on thick- Tyre and Sidon were cities that OT prophets pronounced God’s judgement on- and Jesus says- “They’ll be better than you” Think of worst city- they’ll be better
  • What does it mean to you
  • How’s the city of you? Has Jesus done a bunch of miracles in your life but you haven’t turned?
  • Non-believer– right now- turn to him- He’s given you so much. Believer– don’t forget! But also remember- a message about repentance is to root out “if there be any inquity in me” secure. 
  • Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.
  • We should be ZEALOUS to repent- why wouldn’t we? Why wouldn’t we want to be with him?
  • Parents- if you are not telling your kids how to live and what to do, you are doing them no favors. They will not figure it out on their own- disciple them- talk, walk, clothes, friends etc. 
  • Jesus calls out Korazin, Bethsaida, Capernum- They had a greater opportunity than those cities that Jesus didn’t go to. – and Jesus holds them accountable. 
  • Many crowds followed Jesus- but they didn’t want repentance- they wanted the miracles
  • Don’t be like them- 
  • 1 Timothy 5:20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear
  • Jesus cares about you- that’s why he rebukes you Jesus pities those who don’t repent
  • “woe to you” “woe to you” This woe is a pity- his heart doesn’t like that they don’t repent- he pities them- like “man- you had a chance and now you don’t’
  • God takes no pleasure in destruction of the wicked- repentance brings security in Christ 
  • Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
  • Turn- turn from sin have a metanoia a mind change about sin and your life- live for God
  • Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
  1. Look for fruit of repentance
  • Jesus looks for evidence of repentance- you should look for the fruits of repentance
  • 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
  • This idea of sackcloth and ashes- Websters says- : to publicly express or show sorrow or regret for having done something wrong
  • Sackcloth and ashes were a public sign of repentance and humility before God.
  • Jonah declared to the people of Nineveh that God was going to destroy them for their wickedness, everyone from the king on down responded with repentance, fasting, and sackcloth and ashes 
  • READ Jonah 3:5–7
  • We find this often through the OT
  • the elders of Jerusalem (La 2:10), Daniel (Da 9:3), and the two witness in Rev 11:3. King Hezekiah (Isa 37:1), Eliakim (2 Ki 19:2), King Ahab (1 Ki 21:27),
  • Sackcloth and ashes were an external sign that the person who had sinned against God were truly sorrowful for what they had done
  • Now- anyone could put on sackcloth and ashes and say they were sorry
  • Goats hair and sitting in ashes can be uncomfortable- but I know people well enough that I’m sure that someone throughout history put on the coat and sat in the ash with no heart change
  • Jesus says- sackcloth and ashes (external fruit)- but I’m guessing that its much more than that- no alligator tears here
  • We don’t put on sackcloth- but does anything change? Has the titanic turned at all?
  • I always use the example of the Prodigal- he comes to his senses, goes to dad w no blame
  • Luke 15: 17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
  • You can see repentance
  • Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
  • What does it mean to you
  • The only person that can do a self inventory is yourself- 
  • How do I respond to the forgiveness of Jesus? How do I treat others when I have done them wrong? Where is my life with Jesus? (Literally people who attended this church who went to prison needlessly because they didn’t respond to the simple message of repentance)
  • We repent to God- but the fruits of our repentance will show to others. 
  • Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
  • And for us- if we aren’t seeing that type of fruit- we need to ask- have I repented?
  • Again- it’s a MIND CHANGE and ACTION CHANGE- you can’t do this on your own strength- you have to be changed by the HS and then the natural response becomes godly
  • Its like this- I have eaten more veggies in the past 4 years than my whole life
  • I have changed my mind about them- I internalize what they do for me. I desire them now. I no longer eat them dutifully. I prefer them over white carbs. I have had a heart change. 
  • What does your mind default to thinking about? What are your desires? How to you spend your time? I’ve seen people try to put on repentance with no heart change- it doesn’t last
  • you should look for fruit of repentance- not just sackcloth and ashes- HEART CHANGE
  • Job 42:6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”
  • Now I don’t think we should be self loathing haters of ourselves- but for me- things I do that offend God- It makes my stomach hurt. I can’t sleep. I weep before him. 
    • Psalm 38:18 For I will declare my iniquity;I will be in anguish over my sin.
    • This is why I don’t understand people that love to fight and hold grudges. The HS torments me when things are right with me and someone and I’ve done them wrong. 
    • 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
  1. Punishment awaits those who do not repent
  • Praise God that God rebukes us while we are in sin because punishment awaits those who don’t
  • Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,And scourges every son whom He receives.
  • The rebukes of the Lord are intended to keep us from the punishment
  • READ V 22-24 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”
  • READ Genesis 19:23-29 Sodom destroyed
  • So Jesus uses the example of Sodom (here called Zoar) and says- those guys are going to be better off than you. That city was destroyed by fire and brimstone and they are better off
  • Jesus preaches punishment for those who don’t repent
  • Did you catch that? Jesus rebukes these cities and says “you don’t have any fruit” and then uses the destruction of a godless city as an example of “They will be better off than you”
  • One time in college we destroyed a car. Friend saw it on flat bed “That car would be better”
  • Sodom will be better off than capernum because they saw Jesus, and their miracles, but Sodom didn’t get that grace- Caperneum did- so they are going to be judged more harshly. 
  • Jesus warns of different degrees of punishment
  • Luke 12:47-48 READ
  • In this scripture Jesus is saying- people that know what they need to do will be punished more severely than those who don’t know- still punished- just not as severely
  • Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law- 
  • The son of God- comes to your town- does miracles- and you don’t even respond?
  • Jesus does not take rejection of him and his ministry lightly- he takes it very seriously. 
  • Hell- Matthew 13:49-50 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
  • People discount Hell because they say it was “Ghenna” but that was the example he used to show people what Hell would be like- a place they could see and smell to give them a visual. 
  • Ro 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your [a]impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
  • What does it mean to you
  • Jesus wants you to repent now- not later “they would have repented long ago”
  • “Long ago” they could have repented- have some urgency- if they had me, they would have
  • Today is the day of salvation
  • If you’ve been waiting no reason to wait- 2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
  • When I was in my first sales job we used to always say “I can see you now, or at 5:30”
  • Andy maybe that’s just my personality- but I’m not a wait for it kind of guy- now is the best time
  • They say never leave a goal setting without doing something to establish that goal
  • Tomorrow may be too late
  • Luke 12:20 says – ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; 
  • James 4:14 says- you do not know what will happen tomorrow. 
  • Don’t let today pass. Right now- give your life to Jesus. Live for him. Turn to Him. Live in his grace and mercy. Live in the security of salvation

Pastor Matt Krachunis preaches on rebuke the cities. Please share online for others to see.

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