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Breaking Down Barriers

Good Morning Beloved,

I'm so grateful you could join us today
Thank you for coming.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for the ministry of reconciliation.
we just pray and ask that everyone under the sound of my voice
would just look inside their hearts, and in doing so, that You
would call those hearts to believe, to repent, turn away for hatred,
prejudices and sin, speak to those hearts Father

We pray that if any sinners are here this morning who have not been reconciled
that Your Holy Spirit, would do a miraculous work within those hearts
and draw them to Yourself
Thank You for not only reconciling us, but have called us to share the
message of reconciliation, in confidence, through Christ
In Jesus name

"For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised. From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.  Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
II Corinthians 5:14-21

Today's Message: Breaking Down Barriers

Good morning, today, I'd like to invite you to open your Bibles with  me, as we begin our study of 2 Corinthians, chapter 5:14 through 21. 

It appears as though a great many pastors seem to be struggling, hoping to find a clear message statement and direction to speak about the issues we're facing in our nation today. It would seem clear, to me, that we must speak only from a biblical perspective, or not speak on it at all. 

In spite of the clarity with which Scripture teaches the message to us in regard to the substance and priority for our message. And Scripture affords us almost an endless variety of methods, means and styles in which to approach to ministry. And sometimes, if we allow ourselves, we can get caught up to some degree, the passions of our personal views, rather what God's Word says.

All we need to do is take a look around our world, it's not difficult to see, that God is reaching out to those who are alienated from Him, the lost and inviting them to become His friends. That is what will bring real peace and joy to this world in chaos. When former enemies become friends. There are many great words in Christian theology, words like forgiveness, salvation, redemption, justification, sanctification, glorification, however, one of the greatest ones to me, is one we don't hear much about these days, "reconciliation." What does reconciliation mean? According to the dictionary, reconciliation means "the reestablishing of cordial relations between enemies."

These are unusually challenging times, we find ourselves living in. People are living in fear. Fear for their health, their financial livelihood, and for their lives. I suspect there is almost no one would question the need for reconciliation today. There is so much animosity in the world around us. It's affecting literally everything. We see it domestically in broken marriages, broken family relationships, politically in the halls of Congress, racially in separating the races, religiously in hatred between Muslims and Christians, Catholics and Protestants, Hindus and Buddhists etc. Almost daily we are bombarded with some form of animosity every time we listen to the mainstream media, watch the local news or sign on social media.

However, our common bonds are being overshadowed by divisions of unemployment, income, political parties, age and even color. We are not born with divisions, they are learned. Whether we realize it or not, our children are watching. And for those who may not even have children, if you are a celebrity, public or political figure, or a leader of some sort, someone is looking up to you.

What a shame that people are wasting their lives, being consumed with anger, hate, bitterness and resentment toward one another! What a shame when our political figures, religious leaders, athletes and respected celebrities, seem to offer only course words designed specifically to denigrate each other. What a senseless tragedy when parents are teaching their children that all people who aren't like them are bad and deserve to be killed! What foolishness when schools and local governments and even merchants try to remove every trace of God from the public view! While our world is longing for reconciliation, enemies only seem to be multiplying. The ideal of "peace on earth, good will to men" and "love thy neighbor," seems farfetched and unobtainable.

I John 3:10-15 says, "This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him."

Everyone today, has something to say about everything, the world is full of passionate opinions, however, each of these people especially those in places of authority and power, must be responsible in how they wield their use of freedom of speech. I believe the Lord has been, among other things encouraging us, as the church, to stay the course, stay in the Word, trust Him to fulfill His calling on our lives. We must not allow our opinions on political views to over take biblical truths.

As many of you probably know, the Lord has really given me a burden on my heart to work in this community in order to see unity in the church of Jesus Christ. And before anyone gets the wrong impression, Its not that I think I am anyone special, however, I believe God has placed this heavy burden on my heart so that with the help of others, together, we may be a catalyst for change in the church and in our culture. I've never been a huge fan of the "Do as I say, not as I do," mentality. As Christ's church, we have to lead others in the world by our example, not by our carefully chosen words, carelessly thrown about Bible verses. As the old saying goes, "Put up or shut up!" Its time for God's people to put up, and be a catalyst for change.

This is why John the Baptist said to the soldiers and tax collectors after they had repented of sin and been baptized, in Luke 3:12-14, "Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He told them, “Don’t collect any more than what you have been authorized.” Some soldiers also questioned him: “What should we do?” He said to them, “Don’t take money from anyone by force or false accusation; be satisfied with your wages."

So, let me ask you this: Why was this specifically addressed to the tax collectors and soldiers and not to those in the general population at the Jordan River? The answer is really quite simple, it was because they were the ones responsible for making decisions. Decisions that could exploit vulnerable people unfairly and unjustly.

In our system of government, that responsibility rests, ultimately, with all citizens. In our homes, that responsibility rests upon parents, in our schools and colleges, it rests upon teachers and professors, and in our churches... it rests upon pastors with the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of Truth. Look, that doesn't mean we're going to automatically know what to do in every situation, especially in those of social injustice or racism. Contrary to popular belief, we're not perfect. But, again, we must turn to the Bible for answers. We must allow God's voice to speak through us, not our own personal opinions.

I'm sure many of you recall the story in Luke 10: 25-37, about the Good Samaritan, am I right? I'm pretty sure, he had never gone to nursing school on how to treat a man beaten on the Jericho Road back to health. That does not mean he could, like the priest and Levite, and simply avert his eyes. The first step toward change and doing right is to recognize that something is wrong. We can't just stick our heads in the sand and pretend the social issues taking place around us don't exist either.

There were deep seeded animosities between the Jews and Samaritans, and whenever the Jews traveled from Galilee in the North to Judea in the South they would circumvent Samaria all together.
They did it out of an effort to avoid any potential contact with the Samaritans, because any such contact was regarded as defiling. In 722 B.C. when the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity by the Assyrians they settled the land with captives from other nations. These people had blended their worship of false gods with worship of God.

Jesus was willing to cross over the geographical barriers in spite of the social issues that existed, and He took his disciples. We know from later in the text that He stayed there for several days. In Acts 1:8, Jesus is recorded as having later sent His disciples to Samaria as witnesses of the gospel.
Not only was Jesus giving the instruction for the geographical spread of the gospel, a pattern we see in the book of Acts, but, if you look more closely, He was saying something more. Jesus was saying, not only you will be my witnesses to your own people, but to a people you’ve grown up hating and people you don’t know.

Jesus also broke ethnic barriers as we see in John 4:9, "How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
Jesus answered, "If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water." The woman’s statement to Jesus, clearly sums up the ethnic barrier that Jesus was breaking down on this occasion. "For Jews do not associate with Samaritans." A clear illustration of the prodigiousness of what Jesus was doing and saying in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new creation, therefore, as Christians, we are new people.
At our conversion we are ‘born again’, and we are not the same anymore. And part of that new creation means, old resentments, prejudices die along with the 'old you.' The Bible teaches that Christians are not merely reformed, rehabilitated, or even re-educated; But we are recreated! Recreated. God gives each and every person, who becomes a Christian; A new nature, the Spirit of Christ! Believers are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a new life! A life in Christ.

And as new people, the ambassadors of God's Kingdom, who are united together under the headship of Christ by the Holy Spirit, we are not to allow our disposition to speak, but speak nothing other the God's Word. As I have said repeated, Scripture is authoritative, our authority comes from the Word of God, otherwise, we have no authority. One of the great travesties in church history is that with the dividing barrier that having been destroyed through the blood of Jesus, man has undertaken to rebuild all kinds of dividing barriers in it’s place. But, I truly believe, that as we forge ahead in breaking down the walls that divide the church and the community, we will begin to see and enjoy the manifold blessings of God, as we continue expressing the unity for which He has called us.

Jesus came to tear down the dividing walls that were separating people. Allow me to read to you, Ephesians 2:14-20. "For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone."

In Closing...

All Scripture is God breathed, and is therefore profitable. And the Scripture speaks from Moses to the prophets to Jesus to the apostles to the early church of Acts and beyond to such matters. To ignore these Scriptures or to avoid them is just as "liberal-minded" as those who do the reverse! Further, and emphasize the so-called "social morality" texts while downplaying those of "social immorality," that call for personal repentance and faith or those that call for so-called "personal morality," is a travesty.
People need to hear the Word of God, and they need all of it. Its not up to the pastors to ignore or avoid Scriptures because it may or may not offend someone. If you're doing it right, there will always be someone your message is convicting! And there will always be someone whose life will be changed.
But we have to leave that up to the Holy Spirit. The church not intended to be a melting pot, taking on certain nuances of other religions, rather the Church is to be a mosaic, where we are made up of all different pieces but each one share in one distinctive belief.

We are not called upon to spread our own social or political ideals and opinions – we are called upon to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if we are ever going to be effective for the Kingdom of God we must be willing to break down the barriers that divide within our own churches and communities.
Including ethnic barriers.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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