Things Worth Crying Over

Things Worth Crying Over

 

The shortest verse in the NT in the English language is found in

 

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

 

This verse is often used for a memory verse for young children however it gives us great insight of the human side of Jesus. For us to fully understand why Jesus was weeping we need to take a look at the context. In this chapter we learn that Lazarus had died and been dead for 4 days and his sisters are mourning over their brother. Lets pick up this story in,

 

John 11:19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.  20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.  21 Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  22 "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."  23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."  24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."  25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"  27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."  28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you."  29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him.  30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him.  31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."  32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."  33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  34 And He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see."  35 Jesus wept.  36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"

 

First of all these Jews were wrong. Jesus was not weeping because he loved Lazarus after he knew that he about to bring him back to life. Now Jesus was weeping because he saw Mary and those around weeping. You see he had great compassion for them and the heartache that they were going through at this time. The text says it troubled his spirit which caused him to cry. By Jesus example we can see that it ok for us to cry for those who are hurting and yes that includes us men. Paul says,

 

Romans 12:15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

 

You know in other countries it totally acceptable for men to cry. The United States is one the few places that have made it wrong for men to show emotion. Our society teaches that if a man cries that he is mamas boy or a wimp but this simple is not true. I donít know of anyone who would label Jesus as such yet he was man that showed his emotions or several occasions. So, shedding a tear or two out of compassion for another is certainly worth crying over.

 

Another thing that we find Jesus crying over was  Jerusalem.

 

Luke 19:41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,  42 saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.  43 "For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,  44 "and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."  

 

In the section of scripture Jesus is referring to the destruction of  Jerusalem that would occur in 70AD. But notice how Jesus weeps of over  Jerusalem. Even though a great number of the Jews rejected him he still loved them and wanted them to be saved. In fact you look at Mat 23 where Jesus really comes down hard on some these Jews and tells them exactly what he thinks about their hypocrisy, notice what he says starting in verse

 

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  38 "See! Your house is left to you desolate;  39 "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' "

 

You see even though the Jews rejected him over and over again he really wanted them to be saved and when they refused be saved he cried over this. I am sure everyone us has been through similar circumstances because we all have people that we love and would love for them to be saved but no matter what we say to them we cannot seems to convince them that they must become Christians they the way the Bible says or they will be lost. I know that there are many parents that wish they convince their children to accept God saving Grace and there are many children that wish they could convince their parent to be saved as well and just as Jesus wept for those who refused to listen to him we to should weep for those who refuse to listen to the Word of God.

 

Now letís turn our attention to the apostle Paul. Paul had this to say about himself in

 

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:

 

What Paul has said is very true because he was man who had faced all kinds of hardship and when he wrote this letter to the Philippians he was in prison. Yet, he uses the word REJOICE and JOY around 18 times making them the key words of that epistle. Every Christian should have this same out look on life. No matter what this life my give us we should learn to be content and to rejoice and great joy in the Lord. Even though Paul had learned to be content and joyful he still served God with tears in fact Acts 20:19 says he served him with many tears. So, let us now take a look at several things that made the apostle Paul cry.

 

First we need to take a look at Acts 20 starting in verse 17 in order to get the entire context. In these verses Paul is speaking to Ephesian Elders.

 

Acts 20:17 From  Miletus he sent to  Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.  18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,  19 "serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;  20 "how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,  21 "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  22 "And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,  23 "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.  24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  25 "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the  kingdom of  God, will see my face no more.  26"Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  27 "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

 

Here Paul is letting these men know that he has been busy for the lord and that he has not neglected to teach both Jew and Gentile the whole council of God and because of this he says I am innocent of the blood of all men. But now notice what he tells them beginning in verse

 

Acts 20:28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the  church of  God which He purchased with His own blood.  29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.  31 "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.  

 

Paul is very concerned for the church and he warns these elders to be on the watch out for false teachers and false doctrine. He even tells them that even some of their own men will rise up and begin to teach false doctrine and notice in verse 31 that Paul had warned them day and night with tears that they should watch out for these type of people. Paul understood that the church would be destroyed by such men and this made Paul weep and it should make us weep as well today. There have been numerous churches that used to be sound in Gods Word that have allowed themselves to be invaded by wolves in sheep clothing. These wolves have been coming from those who preach and from those who call themselves Elders. These men should know better than to make light of Gods word but that is exactly what they are doing. It makes me very sad to see so many churches moving away from what the word of God tells us to do. Many churches are turning away from what the Bible teaches on Marriage, Divorce and re-marriage. They are making up all kinds of new rules and loop holes on how someone can become scriptural remarried. Many of them are changing the rules when it comes to the use of the musical instrument. Max Luccado is an excellent example of a preacher who used to teach what the Bible taught but now because he apparently has his eyes on numbers and fame has compromised the truth by allowing musical instruments in service and teaching that baptism is not essential for salvation. He also no problems with having open fellowship with differing denominations. The same thing is true for the  Tulsa workshop. They openly fellowship the Christian church who use musical instruments in their worship and allow them to teach at these workshops. The list goes on and on. Friends when we learn about things like this it defiantly worth weeping over. But, it shouldnít take us by surprise because the Word of God tells us over and over again that these things would happen. Paul warned these Elders about it and he also warned Timothy about it and told him what he could do about it.

 

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 

This is the only way that I know how to combat false teaching is to be ready at all times to teach the truth.

 

Our second of example of what Paul thought was worth weeping over comes from. 

 

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles -- that a man has his father's wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.  3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.  4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,  5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

 

We learn from these scriptures that Paul thought is worth weeping over those who were getting involved in sinful practices and falling away from the church. You see it a very sad thing indeed for someone who used to be a faithful Christian has let the devil win by allowing themselves to be entangled in sin.

 

Notice what Peter says about this in,

 

2 Peter 2: 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire." 

 

Christians who have allowed themselves to return back to sin after they have tasted the freedom found in God grace are truly worth weeping for. David said this,

 

Psalm 119:136 Rivers of water run down from my eyes, Because men do not keep Your law.

 

When a person goes back to sin they are making the statement that they donít love Christ but instead they love the pleasure of this life more. When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians he was very forceful in his words because that church was doing many things contrary to the word of God. But notice what Paul says about this letter in,

 

2 Corinthians 2:4  For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

 

Paul shed many tears because he knew that this church was not following the word of God and this caused Paul much pain and he wanted them to know that he didnít write the letter to make them feel bad he wrote it with tears because he loved them and wanted them to be in the right relationship with God. This goes hand and hand with our finally point that Paul wept over.

 

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.  18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things.

 

Paul is talking about Christians who had not only fallen away but not had become enemies of the cross. Its very sad and worth weeping over when a once faithful Christian who stood for the truth has not turned to teaching false doctrine. Now Paul didnít take any satisfaction is pointing out these peoples errors in fact as we read it caused him to weep. As Christians we should never take satisfaction or look forward to pointing out error in brothers or sister life. However, pointing out error is necessary to keep the church pure and to help keep a person from falling deeper in sin. Paul told the Romans,

 

Romans 16: 17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.  18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

 

Just as Paul wept over these brethren who had became enemies of the cross we to should find it worth weeping over such individuals.

 

I hope you have learned from this lesson that is ok to cry especially over these examples that  we looked at this morning. Anything that dishonors God or puts Christians in danger or causes them grief are all worth weeping over. We have also learned from Paulís example that we should also be people of great happiness and joy even if we are suffering persecution. One thing that every Christian who is faithful to lord can look forward to is found in,

 

Revelation 21:4-5  4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

 

What a wonderful hope we have as faithful Christians to know that for eternity we will no longer experience pain, death, sorry, or crying. While this great news for those who are saved. The Bible also offer very sad news for those who are not saved.

 

Revelation 14:9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,  10 "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  11 "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

 

In many other places the Bible says that these people will be going to a place where the will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and keep mind their will be no rest from this in hell.