"BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MOURN"
I. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CHRISTIAN AND THE WORLD.
A. The difference between living after the flesh and living after the Spirit. The difference between living for the now and living for eternity.
B. The world in living after the flesh and for the now, seeks to find happiness and ignore anything that might take away from that happiness.
1. The word has bought into the hedonist philosophy. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
2. There is a belief that happiness can be found in things.
a. The bumper sticker "The man who dies with the most toys wins."
b. The women with their shopping sprees, and bumper stickers "Born to shop."
3. Some believe that happiness is found in excitment.
a. The pleasure mania.
b. People talk about the exciting game. The exciting finish of the game. At every game, about 50% of the people go home happy while another 50% go home sad.
c. The excitment of being airborne. Skiing, snowboarding, the motocross races, sky diving.
d. The excitment of a free ride on nature. Surfing, where the force of the wave is propelling you; sledding, where the force of gravity is propelling you; sailing, where the force of the wind is propelling you.
e. They spend their life looking for excitment.
f. Things that once excited have a way of ultimately becoming boring. Thus a person seeks to press to the absolute limits and so many lose their lives in the pursuit of the thrill.
4. It is not rational to believe that we are living in a happy world.
a. We are living in a world that is cursed by sin.
b. James asked, "Where do the wars and fights come from?" Do they not come from your own lusts. You lust and you have not, you kill and cannot obtain, you fight and you war, still you do not have.
5. How does the world deal with this irrationality?
a. One way they deal with it is through denial. They say, "Look how happy we are." "We are having fun."
b. A second way is through an irrational optimism.
1. The politicians prey upon this irrationality in man. "If you elect me, things will get much better. Better schools, better living conditions, better pay, more jobs."
2. At the end of the sports season, there is always the thought that next year things will improve.
3. This is why we have established a day that we call new year, so that people can live in a hope for improvement.
4. The surfer is always looking for the next wave, the skier the next slope, the romanist the next love.
5. We had a friend who sent out wedding announcements of his fifth wedding that said, "Once in a lifetime that special one comes along that you know was meant for you."
c. The third way is escapism.
1. They try to escape reality through altered states of consciousness. Drugs, alcohol, meditation.
2. This is often the world's way of dealing with sorrow. "Give them a hot toddy."
II. THE TRAP. MANY TIMES WE AS CHRISTIANS TRY TO SAY TO THE WORLD, LOOK AT US, WE CAN BY AS HAPPY AS YOU.
A. In the first lesson we said that one of the reasons we wanted to launch into a study of the Sermon on the Mount was the widespread superficiality in the church.
1. So many are putting on a show for the world trying to show them that Christians can have fun.
a. We can dance,
b. We can drink,
c. We can tell smutty stories.
2. They give to the world a totally wrong concept of what true Christianity is.
3. The church is trying too hard to win the world by being like the world. You hear of user friendly churches.
B. As a true Christian I have joy that is indescribable and full of glory.
1. Jesus spoke to His disciples of the fullness of joy that would come through their prayer life. "Ask that you might
2. The fullness of joy that would come by abiding in Him.
3. But it isn't that superficial giddy foolishness that seeks to say to the world, "Aren't we having fun?"
III. WHAT JESUS SAYS SEEMS ALMOST TO BE A CONTRADICTION. "HAPPY ARE THEY THAT MOURN."
A. This beatitude follows the one that said, "Happy are the poor in spirit."
1. We noted that this poverty of spirit comes from a true encounter with God.
2. When we see ourselves in the light of God we see the truth about ourselves.
3. When we see the truth about ourselves it leads to mourning.
4. We weep over our shortcomings.
5. We weep over our failures.
6. We weep over our sins.
7. We weep over the conditions of our world.
a. When we see the devastating effect of sin.
b. When we read the newspapers.
c. Over the blindness of man that walks on the path that leads to destruction and stubbornly refuses to change.
B. The scripture tells us of a couple of times when Jesus wept.
1. Once when he saw Jerusalem and saw the destruction that was going to come upon them because they choose to reject His kingdom and rebel against God's authority in their lives.
2. Once when he was on His way to the tomb of His friend Lazarus. He was not weeping because His friend was dead, for He knew that He was going to raise Him from the dead. He wept as He saw the suffering that sin has brought on humanity as He saw the expressions of grief on Mary and Martha.
IV. THE BLESSED PROMISE: "THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED."
A. I find great comfort in the hope of the future, of our Lord's coming Kingdom.
B. I am comforted to know that God reigns.
C. I am comforted to know that Jesus died for my sins, and failures.
D. I am comforted to know that God does not see me in my futile struggle for perfection, but He sees me perfect or complete in His Son.
E. Paul calls Him the God of all comfort, and prays that He might comfort those in Corinth with the same comfort that Paul himself had received when He was going through his own affliction.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it].
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy [shall be] upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; [and] sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.