by Kenneth C. Kroohs

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Kenneth C. Kroohs
Ezekiel 18:1-4 and 25-32; Psalm 25:3-9; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:28- 32
September 26, 1999

Has anyone ever told you that the Bible is irrelevant? That it was written a couple thousand years ago and has nothing to say to 20th century Americans? If so, please feel to quote this morning's psalm to them. Because one of the most frequently heard phrases in modern politics comes directly from this psalm. "Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions"!!

Sorry. Just could not pass that up! Old story. I can resist most anything except temptation. And yet it does speak to us. Notice the first verse we used: "Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths". The psalmist is asking God to teach him how to turn away from those youthful transgressions (some of which may have occurred this morning!!) and to help him turn onto the correct paths. The paths God wants us to travel.

And we do want God to teach us. We do want to know what the correct paths are. If God does not teach us than how are we to learn? One of the scriptural themes for this week is "judgment". How will we be judged? What criteria will be used?

In our study of the Book of Revelation we are discovering that the only criteria mentioned for judgment is our willingness to remain loyal in the face of adversity, to continue to follow God, to continue to walk the right paths despite the many temptations in our lives.

We don't face the type of persecutions that the recipients of John's letter faced. We are not likely to be killed because of our Christianity. We are not likely to be refused food in the grocery store because we follow Jesus. Their temptations to not follow Jesus were fairly clear! Ours are somewhat more difficult to notice, and to avoid.

First though is the question of why we would want to know God's teachings. Why we would bother to learn and then follow those teachi ...

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