Sermon – The Unknown Exorcist Who Changed the World (Mark 9:31 – 9:41) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sermon 74 of 75

The Unknown Exorcist Who Changed the World

Tom Sweatman, Mark 9:31 - 9:41, 25 February 2024

Today, Tom concludes our mini-series in Mark9:31-41. In this passage, we encounter an unknown exorcists who's work shows his faith and dependence in the Lord. What can we learn from the disciples' intolerant reaction to this man as we look to faithfully serve others with our lives?

Mark 9:31 - 9:41

31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

And if you have a a Bible, you might wanna grab that and just turn to mark chapter 9, verses 30 to 41 and Suzanne's gonna come and read that for us.

They left that place and passed through Galile. Jesus did not want anyone to know where where they were because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, the son of man going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him. And after 3 days, he will rise, but they did not understand what he meant.

And were afraid to ask him about it. They came to Caponian. When he was in the house, he asked them, what were you arguing about on the road? But they kept quiet because on the way, they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the 12 and said, Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last and the servant of all.

He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them. Whoever welcomes 1 of these little children in my name welcomes me. And whoever whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the 1 who sent me. Teacher said John.

We saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we told him to stop because he was not 1 of us. Do not stop him. Jesus said. For no 1 who does a miracle in my name, can in the next moment say anything bad about me. For whoever is not against us is for us, Truly, I tell you.

Anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Alright. Thanks, Suzanne. And, good morning, everybody. And, nice to see you.

My name's Tom. If we haven't met, I'm 1 of the pastors here. And, if it's your first time with us this morning, then you're very welcome. And, just to add to Rory's comments earlier, and, to say again to Fulong and, She Way. Are they still in the room?

There they are. Just to say, how grateful we are to you and, how thankful we are that you've played such a significant role in this church family over the past 3 and a half years in the way you've served us and served to children. We're very grateful to you. So, wishing you well on your onward journey. Should we pray as we come to this, this is, this is Mark 9 and we're gonna be focusing mainly on 38 to 41 this morning.

Father, we pray that whether we are quite new to the teachings of your words, or whether these things are well known to us. We pray that whoever we are you would please, speak to and change every single 1 of us this morning, and we ask it in Jesus' name. Oh, ma'am. Well, lord willing, we're going to be, starting a brand new series next week next Sunday in the book of Ecclesiastes. But this is a a sort of part 2 from last week's part 1 here in Mark chapter 9.

And if you were here last week, you remember that we looked at this unknown child who changed the world. There was this child. We don't know the child's name. We don't know the child's gender. We don't know the child's age, and yet this child was invited into the room in the company of the disciples, and Jesus said, if you want to learn what it really means to relate to my heavenly father and to relate to other people, you need to look at this child, be changed by child, and then you'll be ready to go on and change the world yourselves.

And in part 2, we're meeting not an unknown child, but an unknown exorcist. Who changed the world. We're meeting somebody whose name we do not know who was out in the world doing kingdom work and we're gonna see this morning how significant this unknown person was in the lives of the disciples. And our story begins as you can see with John, the disciple John, rushing to defend the honor and the glory of the disciples. Because you remember if you were here last week, but things had been quite embarrassing for these disciples.

So the lord Jesus, as we just had read, has told his disciples that he is very soon going to be delivered into the hands of men he's going to be crucified and then he's going to rise again. And the disciples chose not to follow-up on that particular announcement. They didn't wanna know more about it. They didn't wanna talk about how to stop it because they had a much more pressing item to discuss. Which was of them, who was the greatest?

Who deserved the most glory? Who deserved the greatest throne in the earthly kingdom. That was what they were arguing about, and so it was quite embarrassing when Jesus then asked his disciples Just now, when we were on the road, what were you arguing about? It looked quite tense between you. What were you discussing?

And you remember that silence, that long silence. Because they were embarrassed. They didn't want to say what they had been arguing about. And so now John is about to come to the defense of the disciples. They've just made a big mistake and it's been quite embarrassing for them, but John wants to prove that they're not as block headed as Jesus might think they are.

He's gonna quote a example of a time when they really did do the right thing and their discernment was working and they and and they and they did something right for the king. Them. And you say you can see what he says in verse 38. Teacher said John, we saw someone driving demons in your name, and we told him to stop, lord, because he was not 1 of us. And he's got a point, hasn't he?

Don't you feel a bit of sympathy for him? I mean, who was this unauthorized exorcist going around? Who is this who is this person? He's not 1 of us. He's not receiving direct instruction from the lord in the way that we are.

Who is this guy? Is he wanna John the Baptist's disciples? Is he 1 of the 72 that Jesus is soon to commission who's kind of ahead of the game and already doing the work? And Jesus did warn us, didn't he? That we ought to be careful of people who are invoking his name and claiming to be about his work when actually they're they're fraudsters.

So we are to be discerning. He's talked about that, hasn't he? And so we might feel quite sympathetic. Who is this? And so for John, this is his mic drop moment.

He's gonna say this. The teacher, here's what we did with this guy, wasn't it great? And you can imagine the other disciples just nudged him saying, yeah, go on. Tell him that 1. Tell him that story.

What's he gonna say to that? See how qualified we are? But Jesus says in verse 39, do not stop him. Do not stop him. And the cringe factor of this moment only increases when you look at the context when you look at what's just happened.

And so look with me. It won't come up on the screen. I'm afraid. But look with me earlier in the chapter, Mark chapter 9, and verse 17. Mark 9 and verse 17.

So this is just after the amount of transfiguration Peter James and John have been up on the mountain with Jesus. The other disciples have been left at the bottom of the mountain, and there'd been some opportunity for them to do some good for the name of the kingdom. And here's the situation. We'll pick it up in verse 14. When they came to the other disciples, They saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.

As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. What are you arguing with them about he asked? A man in the crowd answered, Teacher, I brought you my son who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him into the ground. He foams at the mouth nashes his teeth and becomes rigid, I asked your disciples.

To drive out the spirit, but they could not. So here are the disciples, and they've had an opportunity to drive out an evil spirit, but they couldn't do it. And so John decides in verse 38, here's a story we can tell. Let's tell Jesus the story about the time we stopped a man doing the work that we failed to do. Good idea.

Yeah? Here's a man John, who's trying to defend the disciples, and his example is of a time they prevented kingdom work that they themselves couldn't do. It's amazing, isn't it? And as I've been preparing this week, I have to say, I've been so grateful for the disciples. Because I am as silly as they are.

I really am. Are you do you are you? Do you ever find yourselves being this silly. Are there times in your life where you've rushed to justify yourself? Something's been said or something's been done, and it's put you into the shadows, and you've you've rushed to say something.

No. No. I I did the right thing. And if you knew the information I knew. You would have done what I did, and I want you to know I didn't make a mistake.

And then afterwards, you've just felt really silly about it. And you sort of wished you'd just been quiet and not justified yourself. Or are you ever like these disciples in the sense that Something inside you dies a little bit when you see someone succeeding in an area that you would like to succeed in. And you just feel really crossed because someone else is doing well in an area that you would love to be doing well in. And so you maybe try to put them down or have you have you ever been like that?

Have you ever liked these disciples who just seen to put your foot in it week after week after week after week. Or here's John trying to defend the disciples. He says, teacher, we stopped ministry. We tried to because he was not 1 of us. And Jesus says, do not, you shouldn't have done that.

Do not stop him. And so we can be grateful for these disciples because they do show us and remind us that sinners can follow Jesus, sinners can follow Jesus, but we also ought to be grateful for Jesus. And the way that he lovingly corrects and guides and helps these disciples. And we're gonna look at Jesus's answer, and there's really 3 parts to this answer. That he gives them.

Okay? The first we're gonna see, and hopefully it will come up on the c screen and Brendan. First is this. Those who truly trust me won't turn against me. That's the first part of his response.

Those who truly trust me won't turn against me. And you can see in verse 39 what Jesus says. Do not stop him, Jesus said. For no 1 who does a miracle in my name, can, in the next moment, say anything bad about me. Now, what's his point here?

His point here is that this man was the real deal. He was the real deal. He was doing the real work with real faith in the real name. He was the real deal. It's interesting to compare him with a passage we find in the book of acts.

And if we can get that up on the screen, let me show you. This is the book of acts. And I show you this just to show you what was going on in the name of Jesus in the first century. Okay? And we're comparing this with what this man does.

So acts 19 verse 13. Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the lord Jesus over those who were demon possessed. They would say, in the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out. 7 sons of Skiva, a Jewish priest were doing this. 1 day, the evil spirit answered them.

Jesus, I know, and Paul I know about. But who are you? Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all, he gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked, and bleeding. So do you see some of the things that were going on? And in some ways, this is why the disciples will write to be a bit concerned because there were people like this floating around.

There were these charlatans who were going around and they were in the name of the lord Jesus Christ and they were attempting to do miracles in his name, not because they loved him or because they trusted him but because they wanted to make a name for themselves, they wanted to deceive others to exploit people in the name of Jesus. There was this activity going around, and so there were those people. But was this man 1 of them? No. Jesus says, No.

This man was the real deal. This man was the genuine article. Here was a man who understood the essential nature of the kingdom of god, which is a conflict between good and evil. Here was a man who understood that Jesus Christ had come into the world, that he was the son of god, and that he was here to banish the influence of the evil 1 in the world. And he wanted to be a part of that.

He understood that that's what this was about. The Holy son of God versus the evil 1 heaven versus hell, and he wanted to be on the winning side and preach the winning name and and see people and see the satan driven out. He was the real dip. He understood that. And Jesus also says that this man understood the nature of faith.

He understood what my name really meant and what working in my name really meant. And again, it's just worth comparing this. With what happened to the disciples. So you look back with me at the end of, middle of verse chapter 9 verse 28. So this is following on from the story, that I was just talking about here.

After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked him privately, why couldn't we drive it out? He replied, this kind can only come out by prayer. Isn't that interesting? Why couldn't the disciples drive the evil spirit out? Because they didn't pray.

Why didn't they pray? Because they weren't really trusting in the name. And now read that back into this story. Here was a man who was able to do the work, and so what can we infer about him? That he prayed.

And why would he have prayed because he trusted in the name? Do you see that? The disciples couldn't drive out because they didn't pray because they didn't trust. Here was a man who we guest trusted and we guest prayed and therefore was able to do the work. Do you see?

He was a man who understood the genuine nature of kingdom work And he understood the genuine nature of faith and the disciples tried to stop him because he wasn't part of their little crowd, and Jesus says Even though he's not on our team, he's on our team. He's on our side. He's on god's side, and you shouldn't have tried to stop him. And so what can we learn from this first part of Jesus' reply? Well, there is a sense in which Christians should be very intolerant people.

There is a healthy intolerance that we need that we need to have, particularly when it comes to work that is going on in the name of Jesus. Yeah? Have a look at this verse from to John. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, Do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

That's what I mean by a healthy intolerance. Here is the apostle John, same guy from the story. And here he is writing, saying if anyone he comes to your church and does not bring this apostolic teaching about Jesus Christ, You do not shake hands with him. You do not welcome him into your home. You do not eat with him.

You need to publicly show that you are separated from error and false teaching. You are to be discerning. I'm not calling you here to theological vagueness or theological fuzziness, you have to be intolerant of people like that. But the point of This particular story is to say beware of sinful intolerance. There is a healthy form, but beware sinful intolerance.

Let me try to give you an illustration, which which I hope will help. You imagine that you're part of a a a a a military company, e com me, let's call them. And let's say that your company is going to parachute down onto an enemy island occupied by the enemy, in order to try to recapture the land. And as you and your company are trekking your way through the jungle at night, trying to make as little noise as you can. You hear a few meters away, the sound of bushes moving, and branches snapping, and your whole company goes quiet.

And you send a scout through the bush in order to see who this is, whether this is friend or foe. And your scout looks through the bushes and sees a uniform that you recognize. It's the same coat of arms that you've got on your uniform, except instead of e company, it's f, f company. How are you gonna feel? You're gonna be delighted that in the battle which you are engaged in, You've got friends who are about the same work as you.

Now, can you lovingly argue with f company back at the baroque about who had the better training and who's got the best weaponry. And in military history, who's had the more success, Can you lovingly debate as friends in the barret? Of course you can. But when you're in the thick of the battle, And when there's bullets whizzing around you, and there's traps set for you, and when there's enemies all around you, That is not the time really to debate about who's got the better uniform and who's had the better training. You're engaged together in cosmic warfare And aren't you happy that there's somebody on your team who's doing the same work as you are trying to banish the same enemy as you wanna banish?

Isn't it good, but despite your differences, you are about the same work in this enemy occupied land. You see, is Jesus teaching here that discernment is not important? No. He's not teaching us that. And is he teaching us that on the island, there might be foes dressed up as friends.

Is he teaching us to not care about spies and false troops. No. He's not teaching us that. And is he teaching us that we should all join together in 1 you know, form 1 super company. No.

He's not teaching us that. In fact, sometimes it's better to have e company go this way and f company go this way. You might have more success in taking over the island if you don't join up and become 1 super company. And so he's not teaching us that. But what he's teaching us in verse 40 is a slogan for warfare.

Have a look with me verse 40. This is the slogan for life on the battleground. For whoever is not against us is for us. Whoever is not against us is for us. In other words, Jesus is saying, wherever the true gospel is being preached, and wherever sin is being opposed.

And wherever Satan is being driven back by the truth, there we should rejoice. Shouldn't we? And so the point here is that as Christian people, we are not to lightly approve of everything that happens in the name of Jesus. But neither are we to lightly condemn? Everything that happens in the name of Jesus.

We should not lightly approve everything. We should be discerning. Who are they talking about? Is this the same Jesus that I recognize? What are they really teaching?

We shouldn't just lightly approve, but neither should we lightly condemn? They're not like us. They do things a bit differently. They structure their services in a different way. They don't see eye to eye with me on every point of well, they they you know, they're they're gonna hell.

They're not like me. No light approval, no light condemnation. You see beware, sinful intolerance. But this also applies on a local congregational level, I think. Have a look with me at, this quote.

This is from a man called, Kent Hughes, and he puts this puts it this way in his commentary. How do we feel when others ascend to positions of responsibility and we do not? Or when someone surpasses us in our ability to lead or teach, or if someone is honored, when we would like to be honored. Even more telling, how do we feel when we become aware of such a person's being humbled? Does that delight us?

Are we pleased about that? When somebody who's ascending higher than we want to ascend, when they get publicly embarrassed, When they fall on their faces in front of others, how do we feel about that? Does that make us feel good? Self importance? Is a cancerous sin.

And you see what he's saying there? He's taking that principle and applying it at a local church level. If the spirit of rivalry is within us towards those out there, Then that same spirit of rivalry is also like to be present when it comes to those in here. Whoever is not eye to eye with me or everything is against me. And if they're against me, then they're against Christ.

Because they're not part of my little group. So easy for that spirit of rivalry to infect and to bleed over even into local church life. And so brothers and sisters, shall we ask ourselves? Is there any of this sort of thing within us? Is there any of this sort of thing within us?

Because Jesus says in the first part of his reply, do not stop him. For no 1 who does a miracle in my name. Can in the next moment say anything bad about me. There is a healthy intolerance, but we are to beware sinful intolerance. Secondly, then, let's look at the next part of his reply, and you can see the the heading on the screen.

Those not against us are truly for us. Those not against us are truly for us and that comes in verse 40. You can see for whoever is not against us is for us. And actually, this kind of phrase is 1 that Jesus used a number of times in the gospel. So here's another example from Matthew 12, but it's put the other way around.

Whoever is not with me is against me. And whoever does not gather with me scatters. See the same kind of language, isn't it? Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And this has application to to all of us, whether we're here in the room and we're not Christians.

We wouldn't call ourselves Christians or whether we are. You see, the Bible is very, very clear. That when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ, it is impossible to remain neutral. There is no safe middle ground where you can be half in and half out. That just doesn't exist.

It doesn't marry up with verse 40. Or in Matthew 12. Such a middle ground does not exist. The Bible is very clear on that, isn't it? That either we are in the kingdom of light, or we are in the kingdom of darkness.

Either we are dead in our sin, or we have been made alive by Jesus Christ. You can't be half dead and half alive, not in the kingdom. Either we are children of wrath or we are children of god. Either we stand forgiven or we stand condemned. Either we are against or we are for.

There is no middle ground, you can't remain neutral in this war. On this island, you're either gunning at the good guys or you're gunning for the good guys. Now I know in our country of 70 odd million people, there are there are so many who would oppose that binary way of thinking. So many would resist that. They would wanna say, no, look, I'm not I'm not against Jesus.

I'm not against him, but I'm not for him in the way that you are. You know, I do. It's it's not that I don't like his teachings. Of course, I'm for his teachings, really. I'm just not gonna bow the need to him in the same way that You do.

I I'm neither for nor against, really. That that's what I Isn't that how millions of people would want to talk? I'm not for or against, but the Bible is just so clear on this point that if we have not bowed the knee to the biblical Jesus Christ we stand opposed to him. If we are not gathering with him, we are scattering. If we are not about his work, We are about some other work.

And so if you're not a Christian here this morning, you need to know that be undecided is to be against. If you're here this morning and you're undecided, you need to know, and I mean it no lovingly. You you you are against you stand against him because you have not confessed him as lord. You are not for him. And so this morning would be the best time in your life.

To give your life to Christ and instead of working against him to be for him, you can call out to him and say, I wanna change uniform. I wanna be on your team, and he loves to answer prayers like that. So this applies to non Christians, but it also applies to Christians. Whoever, verse 40 is not against us. It's for us.

Jesus is saying, look, in this world, there are loads of people against us But, praise God, there's quite a lot who are for us as well. If they're not against, they're for. And that's true in our country as well, isn't it? Up and down the land, at this very point, there will be churches meeting up and down the country who may not be exactly the same as us but they love the same Jesus as us and they wanna preach the word and be about his work. And aren't we thankful in a land of so many who would oppose that there are many thousands for for who who love this work and wanna do this work as well.

And that's what Jesus is saying to the disciples. You need to have that perspective. Not who can I correct and who can I tell off? Because they're not part of our team, but isn't it good that there are so many 4? There are so many 4.

So that's the second part of his reply. Those who are not against us are truly for us. And then thirdly, let's look at the last part. Those who truly serve us won't be forgotten. Those who truly service won't be forgotten.

You can see that in verse 41. Truly I tell you. Anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Isn't that wonderful? Truly I tell you anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

What's he saying there? Is saying that in this war that we are engaged in, not only are there all kinds of people involved in the work, There is all kinds of work which needs to be done. You see, you may not be involved in the front line Exorcisms, and you might think that's the most glamorous part of the job. But I'm telling you even the water guy is gonna get rewarded. That's the work that I see and that I love, and it may not look as important, but it is apt absolutely necessary.

All jobs in the kingdom are important. All jobs done in the name. All jobs done for the cause I love them. I need them. I observe them.

I won't forget them. I'm gonna reward them. And isn't that right when you're in war? If you use that war illustration again, don't we need all types of jobs? We need mechanics to fix the tanks, and we need soldiers to dig the trenches.

And we need cartographers to make the maps, and we need gunners to operate the heavy machinery, and we need cooks to boil up the broth And we we need everybody. It's all part of the war effort. We need every job. We need exorcism. And we need someone who knows how to pour cups of water, and it's all part of serving the king and banishing evil from this world.

It's like those old war posters. You must have had 1 in school with that. Who was the name of the general? And his point sorry? Lord Kitchener, and he's got his finger out, and he's saying, I need you.

I need you. You know the 1 I'm talking about? I need you, Jude, Bruno. We need you. We need you Lats.

We need you in the kingdom. We need you Naomi. I need you. He's everybody. No matter what your gifts.

No matter what your abilities. Now what what you think you can or can't do, all deeds are important in this war, in this war effort. And what a challenge that must have been to these disciples? I mean, let's re read verse 38 in light of all of this. And let's Let's sort of see how this might have gone on another day.

Teachers said John, We saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we went to the nearest spring. And we got him a cup of water because he looked like he needed refreshing. Teacher said, John, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we fell to our knees. And we prayed for him. Teacher said, John, we saw someone driving out demons in your name.

And he's in the next room, and he'd love to eat with us this evening. Teacher said, John, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we told him to stop. Because he was not 1 of us. How do you think Satan would have been feeling as he saw that going on in verse 38. Let's imagine he was there, and we can see into his mind for a moment.

What do you think his observations were of how that played out. On the 1 hand, he was probably a little bit irritated because 1 of his forces had just been driven out. But I think on balance, he would have been fairly pleased with what happened there. Don't you? Here are people who here are guys who are supposed to be on the same team.

And they're arguing against each other. This is brilliant. This is brilliant. If we can keep this up, then we're sorted. If you imagine it in the screw tape letters, if you've ever read that little book, CS Lewis talks about all these letters that exchanged between a senior demon and a junior demon, you can imagine him commenting on this scene.

Can't you? It was fantastic. We lost 1 of our troops. But basically, it went really well because they all fell out with each other. And they're meant to be doing the same thing.

Isn't that funny? But what if it had gone the other way? He would have been trembling, wouldn't he? He would have been furious. Not only did I lose 1 of my troops, But then they went and served each other, and they loved each other.

I don't think we're gonna have much hope on this earth if this carries on. It's amazing that. And the genius touch about the little glass of water is it such a small is such a small deed, isn't it? And it's the type of deed that we easily forget. But that Christ never forgets.

Isn't that right? If you think about your Christian life, how many cups of water type jobs have you done for others? How many times have you just prayed a prayer for a Christian friend who's out on the front line? Or had them over for a meal or made a meal for them. How many times have you done that?

Probably so many that you don't even remember, you've probably forgotten them all. You've probably forgotten all the glasses of water that you've given out to frontline workers. But Jesus says not a single 1 of them will be forgotten. Not a single 1 of them will be overlooked. Not a single 1 of them will fail to be rewarded.

It's not that giving a cup of water in the name of Christ merits you eternal life. That's not what he's how on earth could that be if you think about it? But Jesus is saying in this war effort, I'm gonna make sure every deed done in my name from little to large is seen and cherished and rewarded. And on the great victory day when all the faithful companies across history are on the open top bus and they're riding through the new creation and they're all being cheered on. I'm gonna make sure every soldier gets decorated in the way that they deserve.

I'm gonna make sure every medal is given out. Every deed c, none, forgotten, all rewarded, all important. And so this is an encouragement, isn't it? Whatever we feel our job is in the church or the kingdom, is we are pouring glasses of water or going out onto the street evangelizing or teaching the kids, it is all part of the war effort. And Jesus is saying wherever we see the genuine work, let's be slow to condemn it and stop it.

And quick to serve it and see what we can do. And so what a reply that must have been for them? Teacher, verse 38, We saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we told him to stop. Because he was not 1 of us. But Jesus says, no, don't don't do that.

Don't do that. For no 1 who does a miracle in my name, can in the next moment say anything bad about me? For whoever is not against us is for us. Truly, I tell you. Anyone who give you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

Heavenly father, we pray that you would help us to be a discerning people that we would not lightly approve everything that happens or claims to be happening in the name of Jesus. But please help us also not to point out guns at our friends. Not to shoot them. And to remember these words of the lord Jesus, in this great battle of demons and angels, and heaven and hell, and truth and lies and righteousness and wickedness, and the triune, glorious god, and Satan in this battle which we find ourselves in. We do thank you lord that whoever is not against us is for us.

Help us to remember in Jesus' name amen.

Preached by Tom Sweatman
Tom Sweatman photo

Tom is an Assistant Pastor at Cornerstone and lives in Kingston with his wife Laura and their two children.

Contact us if you have any questions.

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