Jesus, Guilty of Hate Speech?

Matthew 23:1-33

This past week a Pastor Jerry Vines, 1st Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fl. was taken to task in the media and basically accused of spreading hate and racism against Islam. Listen to what he said, "Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives - and his last one was a 9-year-old girl. And I will tell you, Allah is not Jehovah either. Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist that'll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people." Now listen to the response of Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It's really unfortunate that a top leader in a mainstream Christian church would use such hate-filled and bigoted language in describing the faith of one-fifth of the world's population." Now the really interesting part is that they never claimed that what he said was wrong, simply that it was hate-filled and bigoted language. Listen to the response of two Islamic experts, "It's simply a matter of quoting [Islamic] sources … the comments in question cannot be considered bigotry when they come from Islamic writings … the pastor quoted from the Hadith, a highly respected source for Islamic teaching among Muslim clerics and followers worldwide. The Hadith itself verifies that Muhammad married a 6-year-old girl and consummated the marriage when she was 9."

I have heard many say that such preaching is negative and contrary to what Jesus would do…after all, Jesus was always loving and kind in everything He did, right?

Read: v1-33

This is one of the most remarkable chapters to be found in the Gospels. In this chapter, Jesus gives the most scorching sermon that He ever preached. It consists of exposure of sin and sharp rebuke of the lives of the Pharisees. Eight times He says, "woe unto you." Seven times He says, "you hypocrites." Twice He says, "you blind guides." Twice He says, "you fools," and once He says, "you generation of vipers." Jesus never pulled any punches, but made His message plain and pointed. Jesus denounced heretics. People of our day do not like for you to speak against other religious. They seem to be opposed to criticism of false doctrines, but Jesus exposed these false teachers and so should we! Who is Jesus talking to in this chapter? He's speaking to the Pharisees, the most religious people of His day. These people claimed to be in the know. The Pharisees carried a large key tied to their girdle as a symbol of knowledge. They were supposed to have the key to spiritual knowledge. They claimed to have the key to Heaven but, literally, they shut up Heaven against men.

They rejected Christ and did not believe the Gospel. They did all they could to prevent others from following Christ.

We are cautioned against putting stumbling blocks in the way of others. And yet people continue to do just that. There are many modern-day Pharisees that hinder the Gospel and cause many to stumble.

I. Those Who Give Lip Service v3 "…for they say and do not."

II. Those Who Are Indifferent. v4

III. Those Who Are Inconsistent. v23-25

Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Christian, have we found ourselves in this passage? Is it a bit uncomfortable here? Why not come today and make things right with the Lord. Does our life point people to Christ or turn them away? When will we realize, we need to give our lives… Cause people need the Lord.

Friend, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, let me assure you that He loves you and only wants God's best in your life. He was willing to pay the price to redeem us from our sin. Will you accept Him today, by faith?

Ac 16:31, "… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …"