Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XLVII: The Credibility Of Christianity Seen In The Certain Relationship Conflicts Of Its Followers
(Luke 12:49-59)
  1. Introduction
    1. When a party makes a decision to believe in Christ as Savior, he runs into relationship conflicts because of the beliefs or stand of his faith.
    2. However, relationship conflicts are not normal -- people want to have peace with others. Thus, the Christian finds himself on an uncomfortable route.
    3. We Christians should not automatically think that the problem is sin in ourselves, for Jesus pointed out a truth about such conflicts that act to certify the Christian faith, and give direction to us as follows:
  2. The Credibility Of Christianity Seen In The Certain Relationship Conflicts Of Its Followers.
    1. Jesus expressed His deep sense of intolerance for sin that was around Him in Israel, and of His earnest desire to pass judgment on the nation's sinners, Luke 12:49-50:
      1. The fire that Jesus said He had come to send is a figure for the purifying fire of divine judgment on the nation Israel's sin, and He personally earnestly wished that He could have given that judgment in His first coming, Luke 12:49. (Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 239)
      2. However, Jesus knew that He had to face first the baptism of His cross, the absorption of God's judgment against sin on Himself in His death. Accordingly, Christ was deeply distressed over having to face that cross and its relationship stress with the Father until it was accomplished, Luke 12:50.
    2. Well, because Christ was so intolerant of sin in people, creating a rift between Him and sinners, Christ's followers who communed with Him were going to face relationship conflicts from those who were sinners and at odds with communing with Christ, Luke 12:51-53:
      1. Jesus informed His followers that they should not expect His coming to have produced peace on the earth, but rather division in relationships, Luke 12:51.
      2. He said that divisions would occur in otherwise close family units because of the fact that some in these families would obey God and that others would not do so, Luke 12:52.
      3. Thus, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters and in-laws would all be at odds with each other, 12:53.
    3. Jesus then urged the sinners of the nation Israel to discern their great need to repent in view of the fact that there was no compromise on the issue of sin with a Holy God, Luke 12:54-59:
      1. Jesus expressed how well the people could predict the weather by signs in the atmosphere, Lk. 12:54-55
      2. However, they as a nation had failed to read the certainty of coming divine judgment for sin, Lk. 12:56.
      3. Accordingly, Jesus urged the nation through use of an analogy to repent or face the full wrath of God as God was in no mind to compromise on the issue of sin, Luke 12:57-59:
        1. Jesus asked why the sinners in Israel didn't judge what was right, Lk. 12:57.
        2. He used the analogy of people in a court case going before the magistrate as a picture of having to face God's coming judgment for their sin: if a party is in the wrong and he stubbornly refuses to make amends with the one bringing the suit, all the judge will do is be tough on him, Lk. 12:58-59. Accordingly, if God was in no mood to compromise on sin, and would judge it, they also ought to take seriously the signal of Jesus to repent or face certain and full divine judgment.
Lesson: (1) God is RIGIDLY intolerant of sin, and WILL FULLY JUDGE sinners. (2) Accordingly, one WILL face relationship conflict by (a) EITHER staying at odds with God and facing judgment or (b) by repenting to be in communion w ith God and facing relationship CONFLICT with sinners. (3) Thus, Christianity reveals itself to be the TRUE faith as it witnesses through relationship stresses that its God is HOLY and the WORLD is NOT HOLY nor communing with a Holy God!

Application: God wants us to expect there NOT to be a relationship utopia on earth when we follow Christ. In fact, because GOD is so INFLEXIBLY opposed to SIN, and SINNERS are opposed to HIM, we will ALWAYS have relationship conflict on ea rth, depending on WHOSE side we stand -- the side of SINNERS or the side of a Holy GOD in Christ Jesus!