Sixth Sunday of Easter Sermon – All you need is love

Updated: Feb 5

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Jesus spoke the words of God, whenever he was quoted in the Gospels. Therefore, Jesus said as God, “I you love God, you will keep His Commandments.” Jesus was asked by a Pharisee, when Jesus was being inspected as the Paschal Lamb to be found free of blemishes before his final Passover festival, “What is the greatest commandment?” What Jesus told that teacher Jesus also inferred to his disciples when he told them, “If you love me, you will do what I told that Pharisee the other day. Remember what I said?” The disciples were high on Seder wine, but they were still aware enough to answer Jesus. They were with him when the Sadducees and Pharisees came tugging on his wool, looking for flaws underneath. The disciples would have said, “You told the Pharisee that questioned you, “Love God with all your heart, and all you soul, and all your mind. Then you said to love your neighbor as yourself. You said that doing those two things would make all the rest come to be.” Jesus would have exclaimed, “Right you are! Very good, student! So, you get what I mean when I say ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’!” The disciples would have remembered Jesus saying something stated right after everyone started their ‘drink till you drop’ Seder routine and would have asked, “You mean we need to add in the new commandment you gave us, ‘Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  That commandment?” Again, Jesus would have marveled at the mental acumen of his disciples (minus Judas Iscariot).  They were not any more filled with the Holy Spirit at that point in their lives than any modern Christian is in the United States of America (the self-proclaimed leader of Christianity).  Still, what the disciples had then that is missing now is a desire to do what Jesus told them to do. The problem today is no one is left alive from that event. No American Christians were at that Jewish Passover meal, and they would not know Jesus if he walked up to them as they walked into the Walmart and began to tell them about the meaning of Scripture.  If Jesus did appear to them in unrecognizable form, they would probably use their cell phones to call 911.

No one who calls himself or herself ‘Christian’ has a clue what Jesus said to his disciples. All the people in the pews can do is listen to what a priest tells them and drop a check in the offering plate. After all, none of them go to church on Sundays (or any other day) to have their hearts burn for more political messages, childhood memories of young priests, or the pollanna sermons of priests giving away redemption free of charge (except the tithes).  No American Christians (of any official ‘card carrying’ denomination) cares to know anything more than “Jesus loves you, Jesus died so you can sin, and everybody gets to go to heaven because Jesus came into the world.” 


American Christians (Episcopal-Anglican-Methodist-Catholic varieties) go to church to share coffee, doughnuts, and small talk, before reading along from books (on cue) so they can get a small wafer and a sip of wine.  That fills them with the elation that makes them feel superior to anyone else in the world who is not Christian (their variety).


And that goes for many other ‘so-called Christians’! (Even of their denomination, but the ones they just can’t stand.)


Christian priests and ministers even get into hate contests with one another.  Forget about any and all covered up abuse that might go on because pedophiles have been welcomed into the priesthood by other thieves and robbers that leaped over the sheepfold wall, advocating homosexuality so much that some of the the altars in some of their churches qualify to be called ‘tax exempt gay bars’.   


In order to grow their business, the Christian churches have programs in place to employ hired hands, who are young priests (boys and girls right out of college and still unemployed) who haven’t lived long enough to reach the pits of despair causing them to cry out to God for salvation.  They certainly know little more than children’s church Bible stories that can be linked into sermons about when they were ten years old.


So, tell me where is the love of Jesus he instructed his disciples to have?  


Too many think they love Jesus like they love a new puppy … before it grows into a dog that constantly gets in the way.  Too many think they love Jesus (as the song above sings) because the Bible says so.  Those Sunday Christians are all dressed up with nowhere to go.

When Jesus told the Pharisee the greatest commandment was to love the Lord, that was parallel (equivalent) to his telling his disciples “IF you love me”.  The caveat is “love with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.” 


The “If” (from the capitalized Greek word “Ean“) is Jesus saying, as God’s spokesman, “You do not have to love God.  You do not have to love me.  You do not have to love enemies, neighbors, or yourselves.  God gives all human being the Free Will to destroy their souls, sacrificing eternal life for the illusion of a temporal mortal existence.  Go at it.  Do as you please.” 


However, “IF (and that is a Big IF) you realize love means giving EVERYTHING you have to God, then you do not have anything to worry about.  All the commandments will be met, with no regrets.


In the movie Love Story the catch phrase was “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  In the reality of what Jesus said, the truth is “Love means never having to go to church and listen to someone else talk, because God will have your ass out preaching His Word everywhere you go.”


The head count in churches every Sunday is a count about how much love of Jesus is missing.


Keeping in mind that the Passover Seder is a yearly feast, one week out of every fifty-two weeks.  So, one has to admit that Jesus never said to his disciples, “Remember to meet next Shabbat and I’ll bring the matzah and wine!” 

The institutions that have ‘cornered the market’ on “sacraments” give off airs of having been touched by God.  Institutions act as if God said, “1. Go out and sprinkle water on babies in My name, in order to allow them to be called Christians; 2. Go out and pass out wafers and wine that you pretend have the essence of My Son in them, so customers will offer you a small portion of their wealth just to ‘consume’ Jesus, which is so much easier than actually having to be Jesus; 3. Go out and administer ‘open book’ tests about what a specific denomination of religion believes and award membership cards in My name; 4. Go out and allow every soul possessed by a demon spirit to gain entrance into the sheepfold, as is, and as if it enters with My blessing; 5. Go out and smear oil on the foreheads of the sick so they will be misled into thinking your employees have My blessing to offer entrance into heaven; 6. Go out and perform marriage ceremonies between any number of people or animals that want to have sex and make the sign of a cross as if I approve; and, 7. Go out and hire anyone you want, allowing them do do anything they please – to and with the flock – while acting as if I have given your business and its executives branches all authority to make decrees in My name.


None of that has the backing of Jesus.  None of it has the backing of words written by the Apostles.  Therefore, none of that was written in stone by the finger of God.


When Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them,” the part that says “in my name” means Jesus will be “with them” by them being Jesus reborn.  This is called a “church” but it is the truth about the love of Jesus, which comes about ONLY by the love of God with ALL one’s HEART, SOUL, and MIND.  


When David told his prophet Nathan, “I will build a house unto the Lord,” God told Nathan, “You go tell David I never asked for a house, because I will go where my servants go.”  (paraphrased from 2 Samuel 7:1-7) The Jewish synagogues were little more than places big enough to store scrolls and have enough chairs for the whole Jewish population of a town to have a seat and discuss the meaning of a reading from a scroll.  Jesus never told his disciples to change that set-up.


When was the last time a pew sitter was allowed to stand up and question what a priest or minister said?  Aren’t Arabs allowed to throw shoes at speakers?  Why isn’t Bible Studies the whole time, cutting out all the rigmarole? 

Relative to the ancient synagogue set-up, Jesus told the Jews of a synagogue, “If your brother commits sins against you, go reprove him, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have saved him. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every word may be strengthened by the understandings of two or three witnesses. If he still refuse to listen, tell it to the assembly; and if they refuse to listen even to the assembly, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17)  The determination of one being judged to be like “a pagan or a tax collector” means the same as excommunication, or persona non grata in the local Jewish community.


Relative to that judicial system that is Mosaic in origin, Jesus added: “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18) This applies to both the sinner and the assembly.  The sinner will be barred from heaven and reincarnated.  Still, if the assembly does not use this system to keep the assembly pure, then the assembly will be judged as a sinner.


Relative to that potential danger to an institution, based on the weaknesses in the teachers (rabbis), Jesus added “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you harmonize within the earth on any matter, that if they shall ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)  This is actually Jesus saying that two without sin [and Apostles traveled in pairs], together anywhere, may ask for anything in the name of Jesus Christ and have their prayer answered by God.  While none of the Jews listening (including his disciples) understood this, it states that Apostles of Christ are an assembly whenever two or more come together.


Why would Christian churches not be modeled after that system, which Jesus said to do.  Does confronting sin in ‘Christians’ seem too much like, “Well Jesus said to love everyone”?


This concept of a moving “church” means wherever two Apostles go, so too does God move with them.  Rather than God being kept in an ark, along with the sacred tablets, hidden in ‘the back room’, all that is “written on the hearts” of both Apostles.  For God to reside IN A HEART, then that heart has to have proved its love of Jesus, so God can move in and Jesus Christ can be reborn in the flesh.


This is why Paul’s assessment of the Greeks becomes vital to understand.  Paul (and traveling companion) was in love with God and had Jesus resurrected within his being.  He addressed the Athenians, which means he talked to a “pagan” people, who are sinners in the eyes of Jews.   The Athenians are a reflection of today’s American Christians.  Paul said to them, “I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship”. 


Are American Christians not as pagan as those Greeks?


Paul could be standing in a grand cathedral in some large Western city, or he could be standing in some new church raised in rural Christian America, because wherever there is a building erected as if a grand house where God lives, without the love of God bringing the temple of the Lord into the HEART of a believer, being reborn with the love of Jesus within, then all the people in a building, including the priests, are pagans worshiping at an altar inscribed “to an unknown god.”  They do not know God because they do not love Jesus enough to become Jesus.


To know God is to love God.  To love God is to offer Him ALL of one’s HEART.


David sang in his 66th Psalm: “If I had found evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard me.” 


Pagans and tax collectors are sinners who refuse to clean the evil out of their hearts.  They can lay offerings all day long at altars built to worship a god they do not know – because they would rather have evil in their hearts than God – but they will never have their prayers answered.


The Greeks built “objects of worship” because they feared the wrath of the gods.  They did not think human beings were capable of doing anything other than make offering to their gods, afraid if they did not do that, then the gods would get angry and strike out at the people.  Peter (also an Apostle who had fallen in love with God and had been reborn as the love of Jesus Christ) wrote in his first epistle, “Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.”


“Sanctify” (from the Greek “hagiazó“) means, “set apart as holy, purify, and dedicate as holy.”  It means to “separate from sin,” such that one stops loving self and makes room for God, surrendering one’s ego for His Will.  It means one must marry God, so the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies is in the chambers that pump life to the body.


When one becomes a temple unto the Lord, one becomes the sacraments. 

  1. One is baptized by the Holy Spirit.

  2. One is reborn as the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

  3. One is filled with the Christ Mind and able to preach the Word “truthfully.”

  4. One is able to lead others to love God and be reborn, absolving them of all past sins and keeping them from a return to sin.

  5. One is able to bring aid and comfort to others in need, including healings by touching, which leads those of true faith to find the love of God in their hearts.

  6. One is married to God in a union that cannot be broken and one brings forth the children of God as His servant.

  7. One speaks the truth of Holy Scripture so others will be able to see the truth with their own eyes, with the spread of God’s Holy Spirit leading true Christians to bring order to their ranks, with none higher or lower than another, as all are Jesus Christ resurrected.

The only problem that comes from the obvious, is the times have changed.  Gone with the old, true Apostles accepted the changes in the world that began to destroy true Christianity by reforming it into the old Jewish model: nobody knew anything.  Just like the Israelites went to Samuel, the Jews and Gentiles that were told the Gospel thought about it and then went to Apostles and said, “Anoint us kings so we can be like all the other nations on earth.”  The Apostles and Saints were forced to comply with that evil spirit; but they did set up a schedule of Biblical readings that would always require true Prophets to interpret and preach openly.  The Word became like the scrolls in synagogues, in need of weekly readings, in hope that the truth would be heard. 


Alas, the same failures that befell Israel and the same failures that befell Judaism are the same failures that are leading Christianity to be overthrown by modern equivalents to Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans.


There is no altar to an unknown god that will save one from suffering and hurt.  Elijah let the priests of Baal do their best to wake up dead gods and light a pile of wood, while he did everything against normal thinking, to make it harder for Yahweh to light his pile of wood; but, because Elijah loved God, God lit his fire.  The moral of that story is there is no praying that Socialism won’t destroy the Western world; none that will bring about the miracle of salvation.  Might as well pray to Baal.


There are few who love Jesus today, thus there are few commandments being kept.  In this Sixth Sunday of Easter, where love is the obvious theme, love of God and being reborn as His Son is the only hope we have.  The hope is that all the hired hands won’t run away when the first sign of danger comes.  The hope is that all the wolves wearing the robes and crosses that signal very religious pagans manning [a non-gender specific usage] the altars to the unknown god won’t join with the enemies and say, “What took you so long?”  The hope is that wealth can buy one some favor under an oppressor, when wealth will evaporate in an instant.  Those who are faking being Christian will gladly start faking some other philosophy, if it means less pain.


Only true love of Jesus allowed the earliest Christians to withstand stonings, crucifixions, and being the entertainment of pagans, as they got ripped to bloody shreds by wild, hungry animals.  Fakers would have never let danger get that close.  Only by finding that love of Jesus today can one be prepared to become a room in which God will live. 

Amen

Note: I am not an idiot.  I know these words seem hurtful.  The sayings go: The truth hurts; and This is going to hurt me more than you.  It is the truth and it is just punishment to those who have disgraced the name of our Lord.  I accept the damnations to come.


Please, continue to give me your cold-shoulder hatred as a statement of your lack of the love of Jesus.  Please, refuse to come to me, one-on-one, to call me a heretic, when you know full well you have no Scriptural weapons at your disposal to defend yourself.  Please, all you priestly people who knew my wife and say you loved her, continue to avoid me like the coronavirus plague and send messages around to the “assembly” that I should be treated as a pagan or tax collector.  The truth will all come out in the end.


Consider this my effort to come to you and confront your sins.

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