by James Merritt

Dr. James Merritt
Luke 18:9-14


1. There was a very lost, wicked, rebellious man who decided it
would be good for business if he went down to the church and
joined it. He was an adulterer, an alcoholic, and had never been a
member of a church in his life.

2. But when he went down to the altar to join the church, he gave
public testimony to the church that there was no sin in his life, and
that he had grown up in the church, and they readily accepted him
as a member.

3. When he went home he told his wife what he had done, and his
wife, a very godly lady, exploded. She excoriated him for being
such a hypocrite, and demanded that he go back to the church the
next week and confess what he really was. Well, God used his wife
to really break him, and he took it to heart.

4. The next Sunday he went back to the church, walked down to
the front again, and this time confessed to the church all of his sins.
He told them he was dishonest, an alcoholic, an adulterer, and he
was sorry. They revoked his membership on the spot. He walked
out of the church that day scratching his head and muttered to
himself: "These church folks are really strange. I told a lie and they
took me in; and when I told the truth they kicked me out!"

5. The Lord Jesus told a story of two men in a similar situation who
had totally different results. One man tried to talk himself into
God's kingdom, but he didn't make it. One man tried to talk himself
out of God's kingdom and he did make it.

6. Now Luke makes it plain who Jesus told this parable to. For he
says in v.9, "Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in
themselves that they were righteous, and despised others." Now if
you want to know whether or not you are being addressed in this
parable, let me ask you some questions:

- Do you ever look at people who don't go to church, and think you
are better than ...

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