sermon: Reconciliation (Part One)

Making Amends With a Brother
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 24-Sep-16; Sermon #1342; 78 minutes

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The acrimony between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1800 was far worse than the vitriol of today's politicians, leading to a bitter estrangement between two of America's Founding Fathers—an estrangement that lasted for ten long, bitter years. After being encouraged by another Founding Father, Benjamin Rush, the two estranged statesmen reluctantly began corresponding with each other, ultimately dying close friends on the same day, July 4, 1826. Jesus Christ placed a high priority on reconciliation, warning us that before we engage God at the altar, we had better make peace with our brother. Jesus also warned us that name-calling, belittling, slander, and undermining reputation is equivalent to murder-a capital offense making one subject to the fires of Gehenna. A dispute over anything should not be allowed to simmer until it leads to a seething grudge or a litigious minefield. In a legal dispute, reconciliation or conciliation may require a great deal of submission and downright groveling, but the outcome is generally better than what a judge would mete out. Likewise, a dispute in the body of Christ is best worked out between the two offended parties, rather than bringing it before the ministry or congregation, a tactic which makes for a great deal of unpleasantness. The Bible gives us three sterling examples of reconciliation among Abraham's offspring, including Isaac's reconciliation with Abimelech, Jacob's reconciliation with Esau, and Joseph's reconciliation with his brothers. The apostle John assures us we cannot claim to love God if we hate our brother, and, if we hate our brother, we are a murderer.

Topics: (show)

Adams called the Duke of Braintree Adams called his rotundancy Agree quickly with adversary Alexander Hamilton Biblical examples of reconciliation Brainless idiot Centralized government opposed to states rights Citizen's arrest Democrats Divisive American political scene Federalists I John 3:10 Genesis 32-33 ; 45: 1-31 Greek laws Hatfields and McCoys Heal catcher Isaac preparing a meal for his former enemies Jacob bowing to Esau Intimate covenantal relationship Jacob as Esau's servant Jacob's conniving Jacob's humility before Esau Jacob's knowledge of human nature Joseph testing his brothers National bank No false witnesses Political heresies Raca-you fool Republican Striking against a person's character Undercutting moral character Undermining reputation War of 1812




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