Get Smart – A | Jack Hibbs Today

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Get Smart – A

Luke 13:1-9

When bad things happen, they are not from God. But, God will use them to reveal His character. Why do bad things happen to good people? The better question is “Why does anything good happen to anybody?”

God is saying to you today:
“I am the God of second chances. No matter how far you’ve strayed, I am ready to welcome you back with open arms.”

An examination of God’s word and the understanding of God’s nature is very good for us this morning to understand.
And so as we look at this today, there are many Christians who need to get smart about the nature and about the person of our God.
Luke chapter 13, beginning at verse one, follow along with me, they were present at that season.
Some who told him about the Galileans whose blood pilot had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answered and said to them, listen.
Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Because they suffered such things?
I tell you no. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish of those 18 on whom the tower of Silom fell and killed them.
Do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
I tell you no. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Verse six.
He also spoke this parable to them saying a certain man had a fig tree and planted it in his vineyard and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard. Look for three years.
I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and found none. Cut it down.
Why does it use up or encumber the ground any longer?
But he answered and said to him, sir, let it alone this year also or give it one more year until I dig around it and fertilize it verse nine.
And if it bears fruit well, but if not after that, you can cut it down.
Interesting teaching Jesus is now as you know, is closing in on Jerusalem.
He’s heading to Jerusalem for the last time. All of the plans are moving towards his arrest and crucifixion Jesus.
Now, since chapter 11, his teaching is getting more intense, it’s getting more powerful as he is speaking to those that are following him.
At least those that are on the road with him to count the cost and becoming a disciple of Jesus church.
Listen this morning, he’s going to be speaking to you and I the believer and he’s going to be saying to us that your life needs to be fruitful and productive.
We’re going to talk about the mercy of God. Yes, we’re going to talk about pain and suffering.
We’re going to talk about how we look and consider things most often in the wrong light when we’re not looking at the things of our lives through the lens of the Bible.
But Jesus now is gonna speak hard things to them to those that will listen.
It is going to be centered around the justice of God, the righteousness of God and his invitation for us to know God with each passing day, Jesus is getting more intense as he approaches Jerusalem.
And the message this morning as he speaks to us intensifies the thrust to the believer. Will you follow me?
And what will that look like if someone follows Christ, what should be the display?
How do you know if you’re a real Christian or not?
And so there is no doubt as we begin to speak about these things, mark it down if you care to do this, I know that you and I prefer comfort and encouragement over conviction and challenges.
Let’s be honest. We are creatures of habit. Pastor give me something comforting.
There’s a time for that, don’t you agree? Give me something encouraging.
I like encouragement also, but Jesus is gonna be giving us something this morning that has to do with character.
We are gonna be convicted as Jesus was speaking, they were convicted and we’re going to be challenged.
We don’t like those things. Let’s be honest. We want it smooth and easy.
Don’t ruffle the feathers or shake up the boat. We want to make it easy.
But as we approach church, listen, as we approach each and every day closer to the cross or I should say the coming of Christ as they were looking at the cross, we’re looking at his coming, what should we expect?
What should be going on? So there is no doubt that this message this morning is for the believer who desires to continue on with Christ.
But it is my prayer that for all of us here today, maybe you don’t know Jesus that you would be provoked, convicted and challenged to make him your Lord and Savior.
Number one, jot it down with me regarding getting smart. Number one, is this concerning atrocities, mark it.
Well, bible students, atrocities are not from God. I want you to mark that down.
You’re gonna need it in your thinking. Verses one and two atrocities are not from God.
So what, what are we to think? Then that’s our first question.
If atrocities are not from God, then what are we to think? Jack doesn’t God preside over all things?
Oh yes, he does preside over all things that is. He sees everything. He knows everything.
But what about atrocities, things that take place where man implements evil or danger against other men?
I want you to know that God is aware of those things. God sees those things. He understands those things.
But listen, he didn’t send those things. Atrocities come from the hand of man against man.
Oh, if you believe in a God of love, then why this and why that, why all the mayhem and horrible uh disasters going on in central and North Africa with the slain and the machete of hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Those are the atrocities of man.
Now, no doubt, many of those atrocities are spiritually driven, demonically driven.
So what are we to think that is what’s in the mind of those who ask Jesus this question?
So student listen up carefully because someone’s gonna ask you if they haven’t asked you already.
What about your God of the Bible?
How could he be so loving and kind if this is what’s going on in the world?
Well, that’s what’s behind what’s happening here. Verse one, they were present at that season.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem heading that way. It was a time of one of the feast of the Lord.
And so as they were continuing there, they asked them about the Galileans who, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
We don’t know much about this atrocity, very little and I’ll give you all that’s known right now.
This is what is known that during the reign and rule of Pilate, which by the way, Jesus was ministering at this time.
This is a very well known uh widespread event that something happened at the temple that Pilate presided over instigated, I should say, engineered against Galileans who had come to worship and they were offering sacrifices.
Are you with me? Everybody, you got that.
And you might want to ask the question, why was this a situation that Pilates men would rise up? Centurions?
No doubt, Romans and kill these Galileans at the temple in such a way that their blood was spilled in proximity to their sacrifices.
So what does that mean? It would mean this, that you’ve come today on a Sunday morning to worship the Lord, you’ve come to make sacrifices to God.
It’s as though somebody comes in here during this time of worship and we are macheted down or we were shot dead here in this place.
And I know that sounds insane unless you attend a public school system here in America.
Hasn’t this been a bloody two weeks in America? Unbelievable.
But it’s not uncommon for, again, churches in Africa and Indonesia to be brutally attacked on Sunday mornings.
Did you know that imagine us though, coming to worship and people rushing through these doors with machine guns and mow us down.
Where is God in that? It would be cried out, it would be questioned.
It would be something that would be on the lips of people. Where is God in that?
So the question is asked of Jesus by these who are standing by in their minds verbally expressed.
Jesus answers their question. These Galileans were slain because pilot had engineered a civil construction program and that program was to build an aqueduct that would bring water into Jerusalem proper.
Sounds like a good idea. Sounds like something we need here.
But what happened was Pilates wound up taking money from the temple and taxed the temple, a nonprofit organization by the way, and Pilate turned and taxed it.
A Roman power, taxes the temple or the Jews takes the money and they hated him for that.
They, they looked at Pilate as robbing God and no doubt he was turned around to build a aqueduct.
The Galileans were the very, very vocal group of people in those days.
They were outspoken, they were countrymen, they were, they were stubborn and they let their voice be heard.
They were just like you. And so what happened during a time of worship pilots, men came secretly undercover and rose up to try to suppress these ringleaders of this movement to stop this.
And it broke out into a melee and men were killed right there where they were making sacrifices.
So do you see the question that’s in their minds?
If God is loving us, if God is caring for us, if God knows, then why did this happen?
It’s human nature to think that way.
And without the Bible ruling our lives controlling our thoughts, we also will think that way will remove God right from the factor.
You’re listening to real life with Pastor Jack Hibbs, you know, to hear more episodes and maybe catch up in the series.
Just go to Jack Hibbs dot com. That’s Jack Hibbs dot com.
And for now let’s get back to our teaching once again. Here’s pastor Jack.
So how are we to think when he says in verse two?
Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans. Is that what you’re insinuating? Now?
Look, Jesus is God in flesh. He knows their Mayans. He’s not wasting words.
He’s saying, do you think they were really bad sinners? That’s why they died the way that they did.
He says to them, look with me, verse two, I tell you no, the word in Greek is emphatic.
It is a no, absolutely not. No. That’s a strong word church. You say to why?
Why is this important Jack? What’s the big deal? Because listen, the, the development of this is very critical.
It has been in every age and it is today for us. Are you poor? Are you sick?
Are you struggling? Are you unhealthy?
The spirit that drives this question is present with people today.
Oh, if you’re poor, if you’re unhealthy or if you’re struggling, you must be far from God.
God must not love you. You must be some subterranean Christian.
You must have done something in your life. You ever heard that before?
If you haven’t heard that, then let me put it to you the way that you normally hear it.
If you love God, God wants you wealthy, healthy and wise or whatever, right?
The word faith movement proclaim it, speak reality into existence, just speak it and grab it.
It’s been said blab it and grab it doctrine. And a lot of people have fallen for this.
But I want you to know something.
The Bible never, never said that that would be the way that it is.
So why did this happen to these people?
Jesus answers them in a most interesting way, by the way, have we ever heard someone say?
In fact, didn’t Billy Joel sing the song? Only the good die young? That’s not true. You know.
But when somebody who’s good dies and they’re young, we want, we think that it’s a big atrocity.
We think that’s a horrible thing, don’t we? Oh my goodness. He was so young.
Well, wait a minute man, if he knew the Lord, he got to heaven before he had to live through all of this grief that you and I have had to go through.
Think about it. It seems strange to us because we want them here.
But what if God wants them there? Does he not have that right? Is not heaven.
The destination that we long for.
Have you ever laid someone uh to rest in a grave who knew the Lord Jesus Christ?
And in all honesty, would you dare bring them back?
And if you would bring them back, who are you bringing them back for nobody?
But you think about it. They don’t want to come back.
If they’re with the Lord, they, they might shout down through a cloud and say, hey, back off, stop praying for me.
I’m up here, you’re down there, I’ll see you when you get up here big because I ain’t going back to that thing.
But somebody will say, why do bad things happen to good people?
You ever heard that? That’s an interesting thing to ask. The question is flawed.
That’s an ignorant question. Is it an informed question? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Listen bad things then by what you’re asking, bad things are not to happen to good people.
That’s what you’re saying. Yes, bad things should not happen to good people. OK?
Or you’re also saying bad things can only happen to bad people.
Wouldn’t you like it if it was that way?
Oh man, that bad thing has happened to that person. Conclusion. He must be what? Bad.
So if you’re gonna wish a wish, then wish a big one, let’s have bad things only happen to bad people and only good things can happen to good people.
Do you realize how sick that is?
Think about it all of a sudden the scales of some of your eyes are coming back saying mm I kind of do see that but not really.
Well then let me punch you with this one.
By that form of logic, good things can only happen to good people but that doesn’t happen.
None of these things happen with absolute clarity. So why do bad things happen to good people?
How about if I turn that around and say why do good things?
Why do good things happen to bad people, huh?
Didn’t King David say I went in and I saw, and I was upset and I saw how, how God blessed the unrighteous man.
And he was angry at that. He, he said, God break their teeth off in their mouth.
He prayed what a great prayer. Huh? That is, don’t tell me you haven’t felt like that.
He says, what is the deal, the unrighteous prosper?
Listen, it’s not so much the question. Why do bad things happen to good people?
The accurate, true, honest question. The informed question is this? Why do good things happen to anybody?
He said, well, Pastor I liked you until just then what an insult. Listen.
Did you know that both in the Bible and in the English language?
The word good is reserved for God only. That’s why Jesus said, why do you call me good?
There’s only one good and that is who God?
He was trying to provoke or evoke out of that man of confession.
Like Peter said, thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.
Jesus was saying, why do you call me good? The right answer is because you and you alone are good.
There is no good man and all the women said a little early for you.
Is it the word good is reserved for God alone? But we use it so freely.
Oh He’s so good. What does that mean? The Bible says there are none righteous.
No, not one Now, let’s remember that even in our judgment as these men are saying, hm, these guys died a strange death at the temple while they’re in worship.
Boy God must have been upset with them. Jesus said no way, not true.
John 16 33 says John 16 33.
These things have I spoken unto you that in me, you may have peace in the world.
You will have tribulation, that is difficulties, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world church.
Are you a Christian this morning? Jesus just promised you and I difficulties in this life.
So then why do you?
And I think that if we stub our toe, get a flat tire or our child dies, that God hates us, that God must not like us and we might live the rest of our lives under a cloud of incredible self guilt thinking that we’ve done something to disfavor ourselves from God.
Not true. Don’t get me wrong when we sin.
It produces a result, but it doesn’t change God’s heart of love toward you.
Are you not a Christian this morning?
The Bible says he’s angry with the wicked every day, but that word does not mean He doesn’t want you to come to heaven.
Oh He may be angry with your conduct.
He’s just and holy, but he loves you and he sent his son Jesus for you that you could go to heaven and be with all the rest of us here that trust Christ who see how much we need him.
James chapter one verse two says, my brethren counted all joy. This is an awesome verse. Count it all joy.
When you fall into various trials, that’s tribulations and difficulties knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work that you may be found complete or, or uh fulfilled and complete lacking nothing.
Ladies and gentlemen, church get this in our hearts even in the midst of atrocities that do not come from the hand of God, it could come from uh injustice and evil and men who are driven for demonic reasons.
Atrocities know this even in the midst of those terrible things that happen, man against man.
God can work those things around to whereby you come out and I come out a victor in those terrible things.
If somebody comes against you, if somebody comes against us, if somebody tries to condemn this church or your life or, or whatever, listen, God uses those things of man in your life and mine and converts them into great character building situations and there’s no other way that you and I can have character built.
No way. A wonderful young man came to me a few weeks ago and said, Pastor Jack, I don’t understand.
I’m a wrestling champion and I wound up losing the biggest match of all I lost.
Listen, and he’s only like 18 or 19 years old.
He said, listen, why would God do that to me? Now, stop right there.
Have we not all felt that way? At some point in time, this guy was a Christian.
He prayed and asked God to bless his match. So he would win the championship.
Now, that’s very important to us.
That trophy is very important to us all those years of, of, uh, of, uh training and, and practice.
It’s important to us. What’s more important to God, the trophy and the name in the paper or, and that’s what I told them.
The character developed by losing. You see, we mentioned the word lose in our culture.
And it’s, that sounds like a sin. Let, let me ask you, it takes no character to win.
It’s easy to win. It takes character to lose.
Why I told him I said, you know, what chances are, I’ve never met you before.
You seem like a great young man.
But I don’t think we’d be talking in this foyer right now if you had won and we wouldn’t be opening up the Bible right here right here in this foyer, going through these verses right now.
If you had won. I said in the long run, it doesn’t feel good now.
But in the long run, you will see that from this loss will come great victory of character in God.
And we’ve lost that. I’m not saying go out and be a loser.
I’m saying go out there and be a winner. Yes.
But when you do lose and you will lose, I will lose. Difficulty. Will come.
Can you give that to Christ?
Can you leave that in the hand of God and understand his nature that He is for you?
Even when you and I lose. What, what if the court judgment doesn’t go our way? God never changes this.
These are evil days we live in. People don’t want anything to do with God.
I understand that, but God will use that to build character in our lives.
Well, there’s something even more sinister to what’s being mentioned here by these people that we don’t catch on the surface.
Jesus said, do you suppose, are you thinking he’s exposing their thoughts that these men were worse sinners?
Is that what’s got you going watch Jesus with that emphatic response?
No, suggest something that every human struggles with by them asking this and suggesting this.
They’re in a, in a place of being self justified, meaning this Jesus, those guys died like that.
That’s a shame. That must have been real big losers. Unlike us. We’re walking with you, we’re listening, we’re alive.
Things are going good. Do you hear that this gets right down into the very core of our soul?
Because if we turn as these men turned and recollected that story, oh, we conclude that we’re better than those who perished.
If a bunch of Christians get in an airplane and fly off to some place on a, on a tour or on a mission trip and the plane goes down.
What is that supposed to mean? It means that things happen in this life that this is not heaven.
See, we got our thinking skewed when we want heaven here and now nothing should go wrong.
Everything should be perfect. We should all be healthy. It doesn’t work that way. God is in it.
And when you understand the nature of God, then you can take the things that come into your life.
Much more powerful and more firm. I’m not shaken.
That’s why the psalmist said I’m not moved by any of these things.
Pastor and Bible teacher Jack Hibbs here on real life radio with his message called Get Smart.
Thanks for joining us today. You know, this message is part of Pastor Jack’s series called The Gospel of Luke.
It’s a series on the book of Luke and the unveiling of Jesus Christ to this world.
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