Going the Second Mile (3 of 4) by James Merritt

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Going the Second Mile (3 of 4)
James Merritt
Matthew 5:38-42


1. Mark Twain once said this about the Bible: ''I have no problem with those parts of the Bible I don't understand. It's those parts of the Bible I do understand that gives me fits.'' The passage that we are going to study certainly fits into that category.

2. This passage illustrates something I bet most of you have never thought about before. One of the easiest things in the world to do is to become a Christian. It is ridiculously easy. All you have to do is confess you are a sinner, repent of your sin, believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sin and was raised from the dead, and surrender your life to Him as your Lord and Savior; and you become a Christian immediately and instantaneously. There is not an easier thing in the world than to become a Christian. But at the same time, one of the most difficult things in the world is to be a Christian, and you're going to see that illustrated this morning.

3. What Jesus says is totally antithetical to the typical attitude in America. Years ago there was a bumper sticker that became rather popular that simply said two words: ''I WANT.'' Now that tag would fit on just about every car in America. We live in the country of ''I want.'' I want my rights; I want my happiness; I want my way; I want my money.

4. Rights are considered as American as apple pie. This is a country where citizens have RIGHTS. The best known part of the Constitution is the Bill of RIGHTS. There are rights for children, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally incompetent, alcoholics, drug addicts, the homeless, spotted owls and snail darters. (The only ones in America that don't have any rights are unborn babies.) I'm all for the right kind of rights, but today rights don't so much protect the innocent as they promote the guilty. If you're going to be a real Christian you're going to have to give up some rights.

5. Bill Walton learned that to pl ...

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