Ye Have Done It Unto Me
Nine times out of ten when the Lord gives a clear direction for a message, I can usually put together the message without much of a problem. This however is that tenth time. This is not really just another one of my normal messages. It is for at least the foreseeable future, my final message in this pulpit, in this church, my church known as Lighthouse Independent Baptist Church. Some would call it a farewell message, I am not one of the ones that would call it that but rather a see ya later message because we will stay in touch, we will see one another again. So no, not a farewell message but rather a see ya later message. Yet while it is not a farewell message, this has proven to be without a shadow of a doubt one of the most difficult messages to prepare and I am just going to guess here, but I think it will be one of the most difficult messages to deliver as well. You’ll see and know why by the time we are done here tonight.
The twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew where we will be tonight continues what is known as the Olivet Discourse. A clue to understanding this parable is to remember that Matthew’s gospel is directed to and intended for the Jewish mind. Further, this chapter clearly is kingdom teaching as seen in verse 1. In this section, two parables of the kingdom are set forth. The first deals with Israel being prepared when their King returns. The second deals with God’s people in general (the church and Israel) serving the Lord in the meantime. The final portion of Matthew 25 is a fascinating glimpse into events at the conclusion of the Tribulation and immediately prior to the beginning of the Millennium. Specifically mentioned is the judgement of the sheep and goat nations. Now it is helpful to remember that these events deal primarily with Israel. The church is not in view here. Moreover, some of the clearest descriptions of hell in the Bible are found right here in this chapter. The section that I want us focus on is an amazing piece of Scripture that in its context if for the Gentile-Jew relationship yet has a tremendous modern day application and really expresses my feelings as I prepare to move on to Kansas.
Notice if you would please there in verse 40 a six word phrase, ye have done it unto me. For a few moments here tonight, I’d like to speak to you on the subject, ye have done it unto me.
Ye have done it unto me. We’ll get to that part in a moment but first allow me to give you the context behind this set of verses followed by the amazing modern day application. The sheep mentioned in verses 32 and 33 are evidently those gentiles who trusted Christ as Saviour during the Tribulation and survived. The King’s brethren no doubt are the believing Jewish people who underwent the ferocious persecution and opposition during the Tribulation. Evidently, an indication of the salvation of gentiles during the Tribulation will be their sympathy and compassion on the Jewish believers in that day.
Believing Jews, particularly during the final half of the Tribulation, will undergo unbelievable opposition at the hand of the Beast and his minions. Believing gentiles who aide their Jewish brethren will be recognized and rewarded by the King in that day. Jesus said such compassion on His brethren was as unto Him. There is a lesson here that, even in this dispensation, we as believing gentiles ought to be kind and compassionate to our wayward, though as yet unbelieving, spiritual cousins, the Jews, the people of Israel. So if I had to sum up the context of these verses, it would be this, have compassion for people – unbelievers and believers alike.
The word compassion, as it is used in the Bible means, “To be moved inwardly; to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy.” It refers to the deepest possible feelings. The phrase, “moved with compassion” means to be moved in the “inner organs”. It has the same idea as our modern expression, “From the bottom of my heart.” Someone has defined compassion as “Sympathy coupled with a desire to help.” Sympathy means “The capacity to share feelings, to enter into the same feelings, to feel the same thing”. So, compassion is “sharing the feelings of others and possessing a desire to help them in their trouble.”
Ye have done it unto me.
I still remember my first time ever attending Lighthouse. It was on a Wednesday in July 1999 when one of my friends, Shawn who some of you may remember, from the nebigorhood asked me if I wanted to go to church with him. I said sure but how would we get there and he told me a van would come and pick us up. Well I had never heard of such a thing but I said sure and boy was I excited! I can still remember it clear as day, there we were waiting on 6th and Dickinson and up pulled this blue van that said 3rd Baptist Church on it and it was packed! So packed in fact that the driver, Mr. Reilly could only pick up a few of us! He would have to go back to the church and come back for us! He did and finally we pulled up to what to this 9 year old was a huge church building and into the parking spot on Ritner street where the vans parked at that time and came into the church and went back to classroom 5 where the Patch Class used to meet.
Shawn and I walked in and of course he was used to it but I wasn’t! On either side of the room you had two rows of school desks lined up with kids in them and there were our teachers – Miss Patty, Miss Paula, Miss Lizel, Miss Reilly, and Miss Moore. They welcomed us and we began the night with some songs and prayer. After that, at this time in Patch we used to break up in groups and pray as kids, we broke into groups. I went with Shawn and Joe Reilly. Now while we were suppose to pray, I thought the teachers said it was PLAY time! So I began to write on the chalkboard. All Joey did was ask what was I doing? I said it’s play time, he said no it’s PRAYER time! I said, well what’s that? I never prayed before. But Shawn and Joey showed me how! So no, it wasn’t play time, but rather prayer time!
Now while that was my first time at Lighthouse, my spiritual journey did not begin until my new birth in August 1999 at age 9 when, at the time, Deacon Brian Bennett possessed with a desire to help someone in their trouble lead me to the Lord Jesus Christ and I trusted and received Him as my personal Saviour. You say what possible trouble could you possibly have had at the age of 9 years old! Well for those of you that knew me at that age, I’m sure that could be an easy question for you to answer! But in all seriousness, even at 9 years old, I was filled with trouble.
Ephesians 2:2-3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
You see folks even at 9 years old, I was under the influence of three things – 1) the world, (2) the devil, and (3) the flesh. I was as the Bible calls me, a child of wrath! I knew not God, I knew not the Christ who died on Calvary for my sins! Even at 9 years old, I was dead in my trespasses and sins and headed for a very real hell! But yet a man in this church took the time to help me in this trouble. He had compassion on a child in trouble even at 9 years old. Ye have done it unto me.
But he didn’t just show me my trouble, he showed me verse 4 of Ephesians chapter 2.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
With the backdrop of a dark evil world, with its leader, its residents, and its very nature; Paul sets forth a brilliant contrast. It is introduced with a major, but implicit is a major contrast. That contrast is, But God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us. The brilliance of His glory is evident, shining through the dark clouds of the world, the flesh, and the devil. He is not just merciful, He is “rich in mercy.”
The word rich here means abounding or overflowing. Mercy means kindness or good will toward those in miserable estate. More specifically, it refers to a willingness to deal kindly with one that is guilty. That, praise God, is what He has done for us. He is rich in mercy because of “his great love wherewith he loved us.” God’s mercy emanates from His love. If He is rich in mercy, how much more than must be His love! Ye have done it unto me.
This young child who was in miserable estate was shown God’s mercy and God’s love at this church. Compassion, care, and concern from day one. I found it all here because of people who as our text said did it unto me, the least of these. All I was, was a little bus kid and a church, a pastor, a people took me in, fed me at times, clothed me at times, visited me when I was sick, took an interest in me, invited me into their homes. Why? I believe because they all took to heart Matthew 25 and ye have done it unto me. This is the place where I found salvation, compassion, care, and concern.
No doubt in my mind the people who opened their homes to me the most was the Moore family, in fact they were the first to do so. I remember it clear as day. It was a Sunday afternoon after church and they had me over for dinner which Mrs. Moore cooked and Kevin and I after we got finished eating played video games up in his room. Now not to brag and if I have my facts straight, I believe I would go on to defeat him in every single game that day including a game of baseball but don’t fret too much for him because on his birthday one year he would exact his revenge in that baseball game 104-2, I believe the final score was. Now I just had a bad day! But the point is this, they opened their home to me.
We would stay there until it was time to head back to church for the Evening Service and on our way back we stopped at 7/11 and they told me to get whatever I liked. We got our pre church snack and headed to church. And just as a side note, from that day to this day, Kevin hasn’t been able to shake me yet! Anytime I have a tech problem I can’t figure out, he’s the one I call. When I was in the hospital, I can count on one finger the times he didn’t come up to see me. It was at least one every day. Ye have done it unto me. Salvation, compassion, care, and concern.
Secondly, this is the place where I found service. It has been at this wonderful church where I have learned the fundamentals of our precious faith. It has been at this wonderful church where I have been able to, through solid Bible preaching and teaching to develop and define rock solid, unshakeable scriptural positions. I have had the privilege to serve in the various ministries of Lighthouse Independent Baptist Church since 2005 where I have been a Bus Captain, Maintenance Person, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Leader, Heaven help us a Song Leader, Soul Winner, and Preacher! The training and experience I have gotten here cannot be matched by any Bible College in the world! You say how is that possible? Ye have done it unto me. You took in this little bus kid who at times you had to prod, bug, sometimes drag onto the bus or van for church and allowed him to learn, grow, and serve. It is because of this church, I have no doubts I am ready for First Baptist Church of Eureka, Kansas.
Illustrations – When I First Came Back, First Job In The Church
Working With John Long
I found a third thing at this church known as Lighthouse and that is family. I have been invited over to many of your homes, many of you have looked after me as a son or brother, many of you have done innumerable things to be a blessing and show compassion to this bus kid now a preacher of the Gospel, and for that I am forever thankful and I could not possibly begin to list all of you here tonight but know I am thankful for all you have done for me.
Illustration – Dinner With Olshefskis
The final thing that I found here was patience. There would be many times as a teenager I would stop coming to church for one reason or another and without fail I would receive phone calls or visits. Could have been Pastor Hickernell, Pastor Joe, Brian, George Yurick, or Kevin but always someone would call or visit when I would miss for a time. Yet with each one came patience and each time I would come back, I would be welcomed back with open arms. Very simply folks, over the years this church and it’s people have been a living example of the word compassion.
Now, over the years I have also seen both the good times and the bad times of this church. No, we were never perfect nor do I believe we ever claimed to be but as a young man that has grown up here, I truly believe that wherever we have fallen short, the good we have done outweighs any and many of those missteps. We have had too many victories, too many souls saved, and too many lives changed for me to believe anything else.
But here’s the challenge tonight and it’s twofold. First part of the challenge, continue on with ye have done it unto me. Continue on with compassion for the least of these. Continue loving on the undesirables, the unlovely, and the bus kids that come in those doors. Folks, you never know what a little compassion will accomplish and if you ever doubt what it can, just look at me and what your compassion has done for me! Here’s our purpose as a church:
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Folks, that’s our purpose – go ye. Where? Into all the world to the meek, the brokenhearted, the captives with the life changing Gospel and love of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Second part of the challenge, keep short sin accounts. Stay right with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t allow this world and Satan to drive a wedge between you and another believers. Listen, much of the joy in Christ that we have comes from our relationships with other Christians. Make sure those relationships are right and they stay right because remember in order for your relationship with God to be right, you first must take care of the relationships you have here below! Stay right with other Christians and keep short sin accounts and you’ll have no problems showing compassion when it is needed!
Listen here tonight you be very careful when it comes to church politics because you can get so caught up in church politics that you lose the church’s purpose! Church politics have caused way too many problems in our churches today, have ruined countless friendships, and have prevented the church from fulfilling its purpose!
You say what’s the church’s purpose? Twofold – 1. Colossians 1:18 that in all things he might have the preeminence. That means Christ is number 1 in all that we think, say, and do! If Christ would have us to do it and it’s right, than do it! 2. Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature! Those two things are the church’s purpose! Christ and winning this world for Him! That’s it!
I close with this, in I Corinthians 15:57-58, the Bible says But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
These have been my life verses for as long as I can remember and I can without a doubt say, there is no greater joy than serving the Lord knowing that He is always on our side helping us each step of the way leading us on to victory in the things He would have us to do! Because of that we can be steadfast, unmoveable, and always abounding in His work! Why? Because it’s not in vain! Serving the Lord is worth it!
Ye have done it unto me. Lighthouse Baptist Church, thank you for all you have done for me and for all you mean to me. See ya later!