Seat No One Sits In

repentance of sins

The Seat No One Sits In

  • Mark 2:13-17Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
  • 15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and[b] Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
  • The political climate being as it is, I’m beginning to get a bit frustrated with it.
  • You’re a  Christian if you vote for someone or not one if do vote for someone
  • This candidate will move the republic in the right direction for MY benefit so I should vote for them.
  • Neither of these candidates are worthy to be put in the place of savior or redeemer
  • Only Jesus Christ can fill this role Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • That being said, there has never been a greater time to use politics to evangelize. People want answers. People want peace. People want to know that their future is secure. Uncertainty creates opportunity- we know the truth- we should share that truth
  • Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Jesus Christ is the answer to today’s problems more than ever.  It is possible for us to become a nation of mostly Christian people, but it will take the people of Christ to make it happen. Not politics.
  • You must make a determination in your heart that you care that people aren’t going to heaven.  It should motivate you and inspire you to share your faith in every sphere of your life
  • The number one people you need to share your faith with is the people who don’t have any
  • We can’t insulate ourselves from the world and expect that we will reach them 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
  • It is our job to make the introduction
  • Most everyone of you in this room can trace your spiritual lineage to someone who introduced you to Jesus. Maybe a parent, a friend, a co worker, a neighbor
  • A man I met this summer who was in the faith, I asked him what was the push- he said- this neighbor down the street kept inviting him over to his house for Bible study
  • What can you do? What will you do? Will you sit with sinners? Will you care enough to share?
  • Will you sit with sinners?
  • You must be following Jesus
  • You’ll notice in this story that it was Levi (Matthew) who followed Jesus upon two words “Follow me”
  • The issue is that, there are many people who are willing to sit with sinners, the problem is that they themselves are living in Sin and not following Jesus
  • Levi was able to be an influence in his fellow tax collector lives because he himself had made the decision to follow Jesus.
  • What gave Levi the power to be able to sit with those who were in sin was that he was actually following Jesus, he had left his life of sin
  • Many people want to hang out with those who are in sin, because they themselves are still in sin-  They enjoy what they enjoy, they take part in what they take part in. There is no difference between the two
  • Many a time, they will say things like “ Well, Jesus hung out with sinners” and its true. He did- you can read that in this text right here.
  • But if you want to sit with sinners to lead them to repentance- you have to be following Jesus
  • Maybe you’re sitting here today and you say, Well, I’m not even following Jesus- well today’s your day! Make today the day you start following Jesus!
  • What does it mean to you?
  • You must follow Jesus! I know this sounds like a broken record. Its not going away. You need to have Jesus infiltrate ever last part of your life and submit every last part of your life to him
  • I’ve been in many churches- this one included where there are people that are not following Jesus
  • How do I know that’s important? Because there are still parts of my life that aren’t fully submitted to the will of God in my life, so I’ll assume there has to be a few people that are there with me. I don’t want to be 90%. I want to be 100% and I’ve still got room to grow
  • Here’s a good scripture to test if you’re following Jesus ‘
  • 1 John 2:3-4 The Test of Knowing Him 3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
  • Do you just say that you follow Jesus, or do you actually follow him. Do you just say that you believe in him, or do you actually believe him?
  • Years ago up at Young Life camp- going on ropes course- up like 30 feet in the air- I didn’t trust the construction. I didn’t trust the whole process. So I got down. I didn’t do it.
  • A lot of people are like that with their faith- Put on the harness. Go to the course. Step out a little bit- but unwilling to fully submit and fully experience all that God has
  • I promise you- I have never met someone fully submitted to Jesus who isn’t doing awesome
  • Here’s the main issue- You can’t lead people to where you aren’t yourself. If you expect to be an agent of change in someone life, you’ve got to be on your way yourself
  • Not perfect- but don’t try to save someone who is drowning if you aren’t a lifeguard. More thank likely you’ll drown yourself- follow Jesus and he’ll give you the power to gain others
  • Matthew 4:19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
  1. You must be willing to sacrifice
  • 15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 
  • Interesting twist to this story here- Levi goes from Tax collector to gracious host
  • Not long (we’re not told how long) after Levi starts to follow Jesus- he uses his resources to host a dinner at his house with tax collectors, sinners and Jesus in attendance
  • The menu isn’t discussed. The seating, activities and dessert isn’t discussed. But what is happening here is that Levi is using what HE has to assist Jesus in what HE needs to do- lead sinners to repentance.
  • Levi is giving up his wealth- he’s sacrificing here. For Jesus and the sake of the cause
  • We’ve said it many times around here- God doesn’t need your money- he can do what he can do without it- but if you have it- It is a fantastic tool to be able to speak into someone’s life
  • When you’ve got someone in your home, you’ve got a home field advantage- and the ability to influence them
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you using everything you have to share Jesus with people?
  • Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
  • Many people care only about themselves- watch a group in a gaggle trying to get in a line- they push, shove and ignore to make sure they get for themselves-
  • DO YOU WANT PEOPLE IN HEAVEN?
  • Are you stingy? Are you generous? Do you spend more time thinking about how to satisfy your flesh than you do thinking about how you can use what you have to get people to follow Jesus?
  • God has given you a life, and in that life you have the ability to influence people for the Gospel- Levi used his wealth, and sure, maybe you don’t have much worldly wealth, but you’ve got more than nothing
  • Have people over for dinner- share your chicken. “People wont like my house” its not about your house its about your heart, and people who wont love your heart, that’s on them.
  • Levi took his wealth and he threw a party for the sinners- to throw a party? No so they could come and learn about Jesus!
  • If you’re not willing to sacrifice your time, your talent or your treasure for Jesus, you wont be in a place to sit at a table full of people who need Jesus
  1. You must be willing to be put out
  • When you reach out to those people that other people think are the scourge of the earth- people are going to talk about you. They are going to say things about you
  • They are not going to understand what you are doing or why you are doing it
  • Often times- its Christian people who will do it do you!
  • 16 And when the scribes and[b] Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • In Bible times- sharing a meal with someone was an intimate thing- it would say something about who you were and who they were if you were having a meal with them
  • So people wouldn’t have a meal with someone they didn’t want to be associated with
  • But Jesus bucks this trend- he goes against it- he goes and eats with these guys that no one else will be seen with
  • Its not just to be rebellious- its so he can REACH these guys- he’s not sticking with the status quo
  • Now- there are times you SHOULDN’T eat with people-
  • 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
  • You’ll notice a difference here ‘Anyone named a brother’- when someone is a professing Christian- they should know better. They should have their stuff somewhat squared away.
  • If there is a Christian in your life, who’s acting like someone on that list, do what you can in love to get them off that list. Might seem harsh- but this is Bible here folks.
  • What does this mean to you-
  • You’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there- Spend some time with people you normally wouldn’t spend time with. This doesn’t mean telling your wife you’re going out the strip club Friday night to do some ministry- But there’s no reason why some of the women of the church can’t go buy coffee periodically over at that coffee stand and just love on the gals. NOT BE MEAN- Be LOVING- Build a relationship. Earn the right to be heard
  • Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.- I think he meant it!
  • People will talk-
  • Pay them no mind- reach out to the most despicable people that you can think of
  • 1 Corinthians 9:22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
  • I know much of the sin of the people of this church- some real vile people
  • But here’s what I know- God knows them, they’ve been forgiven, and that’s good enough for me and God is USING US to accomplish his will! We’re reaching people with the gospel!
  • Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
  • You must talk about Repentance
  • When you’re with those who don’t know Jesus remember the words of Jesus- I haven’t come to c all the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
  • This right here was the biggest difference between Jesus and the person who claims to be like Jesus hanging out with sinners. Jesus wasn’t throwing back a few waiting for the dancing to start- he was leading them in a relationship with God and the guys were listening
  • What kind of disposition would a man have to have to be completely authentic in who he was and what he came to do and at the same time have a personality that sinners followed
  • A special type of Guy, that’s who- someone who was in love with the father and had a love for people
  • I’ve always admired people who didn’t have a filter and didn’t care what people thought, not that I liked them- but I always admire them
  • They don’t care so much what people think- they know what the Goal is
  • What would our church look like if we took evangelism seriously. Not as an event- but as a lifestyle- Barna says less than 10% of Christians will personally lead a person to Christ in their life
  • Wouldn’t you like to buck that trend? Wouldn’t you like to be different?
  • When hanging out with those who do not know Jesus- It is imperative that you share what repentance is- Quite simply- a heart that is turning towards God
  • Now- I don’t know where everyone’s heart is in the room this am- Some of you may not even believe in Jesus
  • Here’s the deal- Give your life to Jesus today- Go out to the world tomorrow and tell them what happened to you
  • Your heart turned towards God today- God did something in your life today. Tell them that!
  • The reason that Jesus could hang out with sinners was that he was constantly preaching truth to them
  • NEXT WEEK- How Fix Something That is Ruined
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