I. STATEMENT OF FACT
The Body of Christ still remains one of the most segregated institutions on earth today and 11:00 AM through 12:00 Noon remains the most segregated hour in the United States.
Would a completely unprejudiced God condone His children's participating in prejudice practices.
When we stand in the pulpit of the living God and preach specifically to satisfy an ethnic group or a class of people, we are preaching another gospel. Paul says those that do such things are not to be received for they are operating under a curse. He goes on to ask a rhetorical question. What is my obligation here? Is it to please man or is it to please God? If I preach to please man, then consider me no longer a minister of Christ but a minister of man. The sad part is that man doesn't have a heaven or a hell to put you in.
8. But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached
unto you, let him be accursed.
9. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
PREJUDICE = Preconceived judgment or opinion formed of any person (group of people) without just cause which would result in damage to and or separation from that person (people) and their being unfairly treated/handled.
III. WHAT HAS GOD SAID?
I Corinthians 12:12-14
12. For as the body is one, and hath many
members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also
13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14. For the body is not one member, but many.
Although the Body of Christ consist of many members (all five ethnic groups), there's still only ONE BODY. The one that brought us all in was the Holy Spirit irrespective to your ethnic background or status.
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
James says, if you are hung up on race, creed, nationality, clicks or what have you, you have committed sin. And insofar as the law is concerned, you are convicted as a transgressor (law-breaker).
Backing up just a little in verses 1-5
1. My brethren, have not the faith of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3. And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4. Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5. Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
To sum that passage up, God is very clear that "Faith & Prejudice should not Co-exist." As a matter of fact, it should not be named among you!
IV. CATEGORIES OF PREJUDICE
A. Prejudice of Race (Ethnic background)
B. Prejudice of Riches (Have and Have-nots)
C. Prejudice of Rank (Positions)
D. Prejudice of Religion (Denominationalism)
E. Prejudice of Sex (Male and Female)
V. PAUL'S DISPOSITION
I Corinthians 9:19-23
19. For though I be free from
all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Notice in the above passage of scripture that Paul was not hung up on his position, his title, or his race. He understood that Christ was hung-up for every hang-up. He says, for the gospel sake I became as a Jew, as under the law, as without the law (but under the law of Christ), and as the weak for one one simple reason --- that I might save some. In other words, I know that I won't save them all but I'm going to do my level best to win as many as I can. TAKE SPECIAL NOT TO THE SIMILE "as". Clearly Paul did not cease from being who he was in Christ, he simply subjected himself mentally to their situations and circumstances so that he could identify with them and they with him. He came down to their level and up to others who considered themselves pious - but not their practices that were in contradiction to scripture.
VI. THE TRUE GOSPEL - NOW, PREACH THIS!
I Corinthians 15:1-4
1. Moreover, brethren, I
declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have
received, and wherein ye stand;
2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Just preach Jesus, and people will be healed, delivered, and made free!
VII. REMEMBER GOD'S WORD
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
I Peter 3:8,9
be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be
pitiful, be courteous:
9. Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
I Corinthians 12:25-26
there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same
care one for another.
26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Only AGAPE (The God Kind Of Love) Can Stamp Out Prejudice!
VIII. FINALLY, REMEMBER JESUS IS THE "LAMB" WHOSE BLOOD WAS SHED FOR ALL PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE HIM.
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell
down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of
odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Let's get rid of all prejudices immediately -- and since judgment must begin with the house of the Lord, let the world see a people who are not hung-up on an issue such as prejudice!!!
Minister Rickey E. Macklin/Pastor Betty Peebles