Donate/Tithe with Bank Deposit (direct to Mike Connell)

Finance (1 of 2)

Shane Willard

Page 8 of 10
But while they were on their way to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins were ready, went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.

Later the others also came: “Sir Sir, open the door for us”, but he replied: “I tell you the truth, I do not know you”. The issue was: he didn’t know them – “I don’t know who you are”. The issue in the parable of the ten virgins is: I don’t know who you are.

The parallel is the introduction to Jesus sermon on sheep and goats, which is all about generosity. The sheep were on the right, the goats on the left.

To the sheep, he said: come into the kingdom and prepare the foundation for the world; for when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, when I was a stranger you took me in, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was in prison you came to me.

And the righteous (Tsadaq), will say to him: when did we see you naked, or thirsty, or hungry, or in prison, or chains – when did we see all that and do all that for you?

He said: when you did it to the least of these, you did it for me. Now come on in; and to those on my left, I will say: away from me, for you did not do those things.

So in Matthew 25, when Jesus talks about how he’s going to judge the world, the key to how he judges the world is generosity. It was: Knowing God; Tzedakah!

In the sheep and goats, he doesn’t say: to those on my right, come in to the kingdom, prepared for you for the foundation of the world… for you said the sinner’s prayer!

No! So come in; for when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, when I was a stranger you took me in, when I was naked you clothed me. It was Tzedakah, it was developing a Tzedakah spirit.

Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven; but only he who does the will of my father, who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name, and drive out demons, and perform many miracles? But I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. I never knew you!”

How important is it to know God? Pretty important! So Jesus says: there are a lot of people, at the end of the day, who think they’re in, but they’re actually out…

…this is incredibly scary! Can I get an amen? Why is that scary? Because I think I’m in, and so do you.

What separates me from them? Nothing yet: they think they’re in; I think I’m in. They’ve cried out: “Lord, Lord”; you’ve cried out “Lord, Lord”, so have I.

Then Jesus goes into this huge description, and he describes Pentecostal leaders. Who else is prophesying, casting out demons, and performing miracles? Who else is doing that – nobody, Pentecostal leaders! I mean seriously, Baptist in Auckland – they’re safe. Right, they’re not doing that?

Jesus says: many will say to me that day, “Lord, Lord”; and I will say: wait a minute – I don’t know you. Wait a minute, “but we cast out devils, and we performed many miracles, and we prophesied”.

“But I didn’t know you”, which is scary, because that sounds like me. I’ve cried out “Lord, Lord”, I have. I’ve made Jesus the lord of my life - I did it a lot of times; because in the Pentecostal church, you’ve lost your salvation every time you sinned - so I got saved every week. I’m more saved than all of you, probably. I might be in!

I’ve cried out Lord, Lord, I’ve prophesied, I have – I move in the spirit quite a lot. I don’t really do it when I’m here (because it happens here all the time), but I do move it the spirit quite a lot, I prophesy, I’ve cast out devils. So, I’ve been a part of miracles; some things that I would call miraculous. So what separates me from them? Nothing!

The issue isn’t what they did; the issue is: they didn’t know him. Which begs the question: what does it mean to know God?

You know there’s only one scripture in the bible that defines what it means to know him – only one!

Jeremiah 22:6-8: “He took care of the poor and the afflicted, so it will go well for him”. Is this not what it means to know me, declares the lord your God. So to God, to ‘know him’, is to ‘take care of the poor and the afflicted’. Doesn’t that make sense!