SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

MATTHEW 5:4

GOOD MOURNING

#3 - SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

I have seen some good mourning. My father in-law Erroll Adams lost his wife of over 50 years. Tears were shed, but Dad realized that he would see Mom again. For a few weeks Dad just wasn't himself. He missed Mom. He was down. Then he moved in with us.

 

He never stopped missing Mom, but even at 80 years old he got on with his life. He decorated his room and the attached porch with favorite mementos. He washed dishes for Dottie, attended our boy's soccer and basketball games in all sorts of weather, and attended church services regularly. He also took us out to eat at least once a week.

 

Dad practiced good mourning.

 

Often people have a "wake up" call caused by some tragedy in their lives. During this time they recognize their sin, grieve over it, and turn to Christ for forgiveness. They mourn. But it's good mourning!

 

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

The Lord Jesus is telling us that there is a type of mourning that is good.

 

This is a mourning caused by sorrow over sin.

 

This is a mourning that brings comfort.

 

Most people do not like to even admit to sin, let alone sorrow over it. However the person who admits to sin and sorrows over it Biblically is the one who is going to experience the comfort of God's forgiveness.

 

In this message I want us to consider mourning in three ways.

 

MOURNING OVER SELF

Mourning is often involved in the salvation experience.

When a person is under the conviction of the Holy Spirit for salvation, it is a natural response to mourn before God because of your sinfulness.

 

The comfort for that kind of mourning comes when a person discovers that Christ has died for their sin, and that by claiming Him as Savior, there is forgiveness.

 

Christian, you and I are the ones who should know something about mourning over sin. Because Jesus had to suffer a horrific death so that we can have forgiveness and salvation, we should be grieved when we are convicted of anything that causes Him pain.

 

The classic case of sin and mourning over it is the story of "David and Bathsheba".

When David was convicted over the sin, he mourned. Psalm 51:1-4

 

David was totally honest with God about his sin.

He gave no excuse.

He blamed nobody else.

He took full responsibility.

 

When we mourn over sin, we will do the same.

We will be totally honest.

We will name the specific sin or sins.

We will blame nobody else.

We will take full responsibility.

We will be sorry for the sin, not just for being caught.

We will strive to forsake that sin.

 

With confession comes the comfort of forgiveness. 1 John 1:9, Psalm 32:1-2, 5

 

How should we handle mourning over sin as Christians?

 

  First we should confess any known sin to God that we have not dealt with before.

  Second, we should have a set time each day to examine our lives for sin, perhaps, first thing in the morning, or the last thing at night.

  Thirdly, if we need help knowing what God considers sin, we can refer to the Scripture. Two excellent lists are found in Colossians 3:5-10 and Proverbs 6:16-19

  Finally, we need to beware of delaying the mourning process. Sometimes we are just too comfortable in our sins and enjoying sins too much to actually mourn over them.

 

As Christians, let's look to the cross and remind ourselves how Jesus has suffered for us. That should be motivation for us to quit what we are doing for His sake. Isaiah 53:3-6

 

MOURNING OVER SAINTS

 

There is a difference between being critical of the saints, and mourning over the sins of the saints.

When a person is critical, he or she, is not concerned about the spiritual well-being of the person involved.

When a person is critical, he is not sorrowed over the sin.

When a person is critical, he is making himself feel good by pointing out what's wrong in another person.

When a person is critical, he thinks of himself as better than the other person.

 

How is mourning over the sins of the saints different from criticism of the saints?

 

  Your are seriously concerned about the holiness of God, and don't want to see anyone, especially yourself, sin against Him.

  You are concerned about the spiritual well being of the person.

  You want to see the person restored to God.

  You talk to God in concerned prayer about the person.

  You ask God to deliver the person from their sin.

  You talk to the person involved about their sin instead of talking to others.

 

There was once gross sin in the church at Corinth.

The Corinthians instead of grieving over sin and seeking to restore the brother to righteousness, instead congratulated themselves on their open-mindedness. They were "tolerating" the man's sin. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2

 

There is another sense in which we can mourn over the sins of the saints. It is when we acknowledge for ourselves and for other Christians that we have all sinned against God.

Nehemiah prayed such a prayer when he was lamenting that Jerusalem's walls had been devastated. Nehemiah 1:6-7

We should mourn over the laxness and outright sin we see in the church and in ourselves. I believe America is in moral trouble today because Christians have failed to live righteously and to take a stand for what is right. But there is hope. 2 Chronicles 7:1-14

 

MOURNING OVER SINNERS

 

Now let me reiterate that we are all sinners.

The sinners I refer to now are the sinners without the Savior.

I am referring to those who have not trusted Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and everlasting life.

 

We should mourn for those we know without Christ.

The Apostle Paul did. Romans 10:1, 9:1-3

that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

 

The great passage that reminds us to mourn over those who do not know Christ as Savior is found in the Old Testament.

Psalm 126:5-6 - They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. [6] He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

 

When we sorrow before God over the people we know without Christ and pray for them in mourning. When we then go to that person, bringing the precious message of salvation.

We can expect there will be times when we will see those we pray for and witness to coming to Christ as Savior.

 

And if we need motivation to mourn for those without Christ consider just one more verse of Scripture. Revelation 20:15

 

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