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When Hell Holds Heaven Hostage

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning how to balance compassion and truth with the Golden Rule.

Text: Matt. 7:12
Date: 02/03/2019, the Evening service.

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Jesus summarized His great Sermon on the Mount with our text for this lesson. It has come to be known as the Golden Rule. While teaching a seminar in Haiti recently, the question was raised whether suffering legitimized sinful behavior. At the same time several US states have passed laws legalizing late-term abortions. The two incidents are more closely related than they may appear on the surface. In both, pity and compassion and a mis-interpretation of the Golden Rule have been used to justify behavior that is firmly against the teaching of Scripture. Tragically, in both cases, the church has been compliant. We will analyze these issues and attempt to present a solution-- emphasizing how important it is for the church to be compassionate while remaining firmly on the side of biblical truth. Otherwise, (to adapt a phrase coined by C.S. Lewis), "Hell holds Heaven hostage"!

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Matt. 7:12.
A. Context, Matt. 5:17-20.
B. The power of the positive.
III. On pity, compassion and truth.
A. The seminar in Haiti.
1. The location of the seminar.
2. An outline of the teaching.
3. A controversial subject.
a. The source of the fallout.
b. The question concerning marriage and compassion.
B. Discovering the problem.
1. Isolating the problem.
2. Analyzing the problem.
a. The vicious circle, Psa. 9:15-16.
b. The unexpected problem of pity.
i. Altered realities.
ii. Recognizing the underlying evil.
iii. When "Hell vetoes Heaven".
C. The evil manifestation in abortion.
1. The legalization of late-term abortion.
2. The tyranny of pity and compassion.
3. The compliance of the church.
D. Searching for a solution.
1. At the top of the falls.
a. Keeping the Lie in perspective.
b. Applying the Golden Rule.
c. An ounce of prevention.
2. At the bottom of the falls.
a. Slipping over the falls.
b. Applying the Golden Rule.
c. Resisting the manipulations of pity.
IV. A call to truth, pity, and compassion.

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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