Lessons Of A Lifetime

Weightier Matters Matter Most
Escaping Hell’s Condemnation
Sunday Sept. 4, 2022

Scripture To Consider:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law; justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you outward appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore, you are witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your father’s guilt.”

“Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes; some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”             Matthew 23.23-36

Something To Consider:
Many of these warnings Jesus had previously pronounced throughout the gospels. Either Matthew decided to group them altogether here, or Jesus repeated them all at the same time while in the temple just one week away from His being crucified as so many other messengers from God. Either way they are powerful and most important warnings for every one of every generation.

But, is escaping hell’s condemnation and eternal judgment important to every one of every generation? Evidently not! Paul declared in Romans 5.6, “For while we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” In verse 8, Paul stated, “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Therefore, through the death and sacrifice of Jesus, God has demonstrated His justice, His mercy, and our need of true faith in Christ through our repentance of our sin. But, have we received the forgiveness, the mercy, the justice of Almighty God through our own repentance of our sin? Or are we still resisting the gracious gift of God to our own eternal and everlasting destruction?

Something Else To Consider:
The weightier matters of the law, according to Jesus, are justice, mercy, and faith, of which all should matter most to us in this life. Many other things could be listed as important, but these three are the weightier matters given us as reminders by Jesus.

Proverbs 21.3 instructs all who have ears to hear, “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” God does not accept our sacrifice if there is no righteousness and justice in our lives. Therefore, Jesus proclaimed in His sermon on the mount, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

And if we do not seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness with a clear understanding that weightier matters matter most, then we are awaiting His eternal judgment! And we cannot simply play the part of a righteous man, woman, or young person, without in the end being found guilty of neglecting the weightier matters that matter most.

Something More To Consider:
Hypocritical tendencies and attitudes lead a person to resemble white washed or nicely appearing painted over gravesites full of dead or dying works of the flesh. Therefore, the bottom line for pretending hypocrites according to Jesus is, “How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”

How can we escape the condemnation of hell? Escaping the condemnation of hell only comes through our repentance. And upon true repentance and our bearing true spiritual fruit worthy of repentance, the heavenly door to mercy is opened wide to each of us! Yes, without God’s mercy in our lives, we cannot escape hell’s eternal condemnation! Anyone care to join me for prayer?

And once mercy has been received through our seeking the forgiveness of our sins; by faith, we receive the righteousness of God in and through Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished in His sacrificial death upon an old rugged cross. For I once was lost, but now I’m found by His amazing grace!

A Few Final Words:
Why in this earthly world would anyone not desire to escape hell’s eternal fire and condemnation? It is because the weightier matters of life never really mattered most to the majority of human beings. And that is extremely sad! But, some of the shame and guilt is and will in the end be laid at the feet of pretending hypocritical so-called religious leaders in every generation.

And if that proves to be the end result in a person’s life, they will not escape hell’s condemnation and eternal judgment. The only true escape plan against the fire and flames of hell’s condemnation is sincere heart-felt God-ordained repentance of all our hypocritical pretending.

For according to Jesus, “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” If in the end we too are seen by Jesus as sneaking around snakes in the grass full of the poisonous venom of unforgiven sin, we will not, we cannot, in all of eternity, ever escape the flames and eternal torment of hell. And that is something more important and weightier to consider now, before it is too late!

Our Father in heaven, forgive us if the shoe fits. And fill our lives with justice, mercy, faith, and forgiveness in Jesus Christ we pray. In Him Always, Amen!  

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