SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2021
Pastor Troy Brewer, OpenDoor Church, Burleson, TX
Matthew 5:3-16 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The importance of the role of the church is that “they may see our good deeds and glorify our father in heaven….”
A few months back, an unprecedented weather event put the people of North Texas in a serious crises. We called it the iceapocalypse. Some called it “Ice-Mageddon.”
It got colder than ever recorded in these parts–below zero with the wind chill factored in–and lasted longer than ever before–205 consecutive hours at or below freezing 10 p.m. Feb. 10 through 11 a.m. Feb. 19 (new record).
For nearly a week, and in some cases longer, people were without electricity and unable to warm themselves or their homes. It was a huge frozen mess.
We saw it as a great opportunity to help our neighbors in need, and tried our best to dismiss the inconvenience and just went after it. In some cases, we were in over our head and in some cases, we were right at home because we know that the role of the body of Christ is to answer evil with the goodness of God.
The first thing we did was unite with our local city officials to see how we could help. We have some amazing leaders who care about this city and the people in it.
The second thing we did was unite with the courageous efforts of the local churches and Christian community to rescue, house, feed, protect, comfort and serve any person, or any group of people, who needed that help.
What we saw was something beautiful, helpful, and critically needed. The response to a life-threatening crisis was incredible.
This is the role of the body of Jesus. This is what it looks like when the church is a clearly the good guys.
Romans 12:21 – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When we help the helpless, heal the hurting and meet the needs of people in crisis, we are not doing that to get people to come to church. We do this because we are the church. This is how we fulfill our role as Christians.
Today’s message is called “The Warrior Bride” and I want to address our fight to fulfill the role of the church in this modern day.
Isaiah 54:5 – For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called
When we are redeemed and made beautiful, we are known as the Bride of Christ.
Ephesians 5:27 – So that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Prophetically expressing the heart of Jesus to the church, King Solomon says:
Song of Songs 4:7 – You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
Your bride is the love of your life. Your bride is who you share everything you have with. Your bride is who you honor, cherish and give your name. In this respect, I sign up whole-heartedly for the bride thing.
Jesus, as our husband, is described as a loving warrior king.
Unlike Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Leonidas, who were only on major steroids, Jesus doesn’t sit on a throne and send you into battle. He goes into battle first and says, “Follow me.”
Jesus is a warrior. He’s not just the lamb; He is also the Lion.
If Jesus is going to be compatible with us, you and I must be compatible with the warrior side of Jesus.
So, for Jesus to be “equally yoked,” He looks for His bride to be unlike any other you’ve ever seen. Jesus likes a warrior bride.
As a warrior, you and I have to think differently. A warrior’s mentality says, “The battle must be won.” A warrior’s attitude says, “It’s not about convenience. It’s about commitment.” A warrior’s way of thinking is not about personal comfort but about Kingdom advancement. A warrior says, “There are certain things that will not happen on my watch.”
When you and I are feeding more than a hundred thousand people here locally, and at least 10-times more throughout the world every year, that’s you and I being the warrior bride.
When we feed and care for the homeless, as we are on this very day in Fort Worth and have been doing consistently for more than 30 years in the same exact parking lot– that’s us the warrior bride.
When we rescue thousands and thousands of boys and girls out of sexual slavery throughout the world, that’s what a warrior bride looks like.
When we stand for babies and revile abortion, when we champion the widow and stand with the abused–when we stand for our freedom and condemn restrictions of worship–that is you and I being the warrior bride.
Other local churches being the warrior bride
I want to encourage you in the good fight of faith as a warrior bride, because our faith walk is not a cake walk. It’s a fight of Faith.
1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12 (The Amplified Bible) – Fight the good fight of the faith in the conflict with evil]; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and [for which] you made the good confession [of faith] in the presence of many witnesses.
Part of the big fight of faith is to make sure we have many witnesses to how we confess our faith.
How do we fearlessly demonstrate our calling and openly confess our faith?
This is a good day for you to have enough courage to take decisive action. I know the economy is scary and the political environment of the whole world is unstable, but remember you’re not a victim. You are an overcomer. Not a worrier but a warrior.
How do we navigate through a Christian culture in such a political time?
There are so many who would have you and I as Christians neutered of our right to vote and run for office–to actually have no place or voice in our community.
We have to fight for our voice and our place in society. We must insist that we have the answer and are a valuable part of the solution.
Our saltiness, our flavor, is our influence.
That means every part of society, government, media and business.
The myth and the propaganda lie of separation of church and state is that christians should have no place in our government or society. The truth is, separation of church and state is the idea that in America ungodly rulers should never be able to legislate their immorality upon us as citizens.
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IS NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION. IT’S NOT! With that said, America was founded by Christians who were not willing to let the state influence the church. America was founded expressly for the church to influence and guide the state!
That’s the truth.
TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE HATE TO THOSE WHO HATE THE TRUTH.
We didn’t get into their lane. They got into ours and began to tell us, when we could have church, if we could have church, how many people were allowed to be at church and, in the name of contact tracing, began to demand we report our membership to the government. That’s going on right here in the United States. It’s even more prevalent in Canada, Australia, Great Britain and other nations who were once freedom-loving democracies.
The government got into our lane when they began to legislate perverse sexual training for elementary children and demand that we perform Christian weddings for non- Christian people.
They got into our lane when they insisted we call the truth a lie and a lie the truth. When they began to fire us as Christians from our jobs and kick our kids out of school for wearing a Christian T Shirt–when they began to call us racists for standing for the Pledge of Allegiance–they got into our lane.
There are those among us in our local, state and our federal government who not only do not appreciate our selfless stance to make a difference, they are outright hostile against it. They do not want Christian participation at all, and condemn and accuse us in our efforts because they fear our our influence. They want to silence our voice.
When local city officials–our trusted city officials–are caught on tape talking about the church’s rapid response in this city to the Icepocalypse as a “threat to the safety minorities,” the have jumped into our lane.
The local church of every denomination stood together as Christians and didn’t refuse anyone. Its ridiculous, uncalled for and demonic to suggest that we would not have taken them in, fed them, protected them and not accepted them.
It’s a lie.
“What about the people the church doesn’t accept? What about them? I’m not having kids die because they are gay.” And she named OpenDoor Church.
I don’t know what the politics or the self-identity of the kids we helped was because we didn’t ask them. None of them died on our watch. Just like the OpenDoor Food Bank, just like the homeless outreach, just like our freedom houses all over the world.
The churches of Burleson, the Jeep Club, the mayor and city officials OpenDoor Church worked with each other to bring relief to anyone who needed it—no questions asked. They cared about nothing else but loving people through the Icepocalypse and beyond. No judgment. We weren’t there to preach to anybody. We where there to keep them from dying. We were there to keep them warm and fed.
And we did our job. This is the role of the church.
It’s sad that we have to fight our own government for our role to selflessly serve people.
The First Amendment makes it clear that America is founded on freedom. It literally says we have the freedom “of and from” religion. While the churches of Burleson, the mayor and many city officials chose to practice their freedom “of” religion by banding together through a crisis for the good of all, others chose to exercise their freedom “from” religion by demanding warming shelters in city facilities.
They say things like:
“KEEP POLITICS OUT OF THE PULPIT”
Well, here’s what we say to that.
Silence is not an option for us as Christians.
We are the house of God, not a box of crickets.
We are not a social club or a cruise ship. We’re not here for your comfort or entertainment. We’re a battleship. OpenDoor is a bunch of drop-dead, sold-out Jesus freaks meeting the needs of people and helping those in need. We’ve been giving out millions of pounds of food to hundreds of thousands of people—no questions asked—every year for 25 years.
We’ve been serving the homeless on East Lancaster Street, again, no questions asked. We love those people. We honor them and we thank them for coming. We treat them like kings and queens and we have been doing that for over 30 years. We’ve never stopped or taken a break. That is what Jesus looks like. He fed the 5,000 and the only qualification was they be there and hungry.
It’s sad that the American church as a whole has earned a reputation for being religious and caring more about rules than people. I think that is changing in America and throughout the world. I know it has changed here in Burleson. Churches here are not about competition. We’re about unity with each other, the city and schools. With the people. There’s a place for us all inside and outside of government. Inside and outside of church.
VOICE AND VOTE CHRISTIAN, BIBLICAL VALUES
And we will not apologize for it.
It’s not our fault that the new hip trend in political leadership is to
champion everything your Bible condemns. We didn’t pick that fight.
“THIS IS NOT ABOUT LEGISLATING MORALITY. IT’S ABOUT STOPPING THE LEGISLATION OF IMMORTALITY.”
It’s about us maintaining the privilege to be part of the solution in our society and they will deny it if we are silent.
This is a great opportunity….